#MeToo: 9 questions employers should not be asking (& 9 questions they should)

The following was inspired by reading about yet more organisations struggling with #MeToo and the fall out from this. If we reframe the questions we are asking and change our focus, #MeToo can drive the much needed seismic shift inside our businesses for the benefit of all:

1) Don’t ask why women are speaking up now, ask yourself how you can take the time to really listen, learn and understand-better.

2) Don’t ask why women are pushing so hard, ask yourself why there are still individuals in your business who abuse their power or position.

3) Don’t ask how to fix women, ask yourself how men can become less resistant and better allies.

4) Don’t ask how you can give #MeToo a wide berth, ask yourself how you can understand the complexity behind this systemic problem; how you need to get to the nub of it in your business or industry and fix it.

5) Don’t ask how you can avoid the ramifications of #MeToo, ask yourself how you lead a culture and corporate governance change that goes beyond a mere code of conduct update or sexual harassment training.

6) Don’t ask how you can avoid a PR disaster, ask yourself how you will care more about your people and introduce a process which allows all complaints to be reported and treated seriously.

7) Don’t ask how this has become such a big issue, ask yourself how you will make women feel welcome, build a pipeline of women, hire senior women and close the gender pay gap for better corporate outcomes.

8) Don’t ask how long before #MeToo blows over, ask yourself why gender discrimination and sexual harassment is still not an agenda item in your board meetings and what you will say to investors when they ask ‘why not’?

9) Don’t ask how you minimise the risk to reputational damage (code for how to limit interactions with women where men might ‘overstep’), ask yourself what you need to do to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild your business so that it is safe, fair, open, collaborative and inclusive.