October 15, 2018 By FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting and Washington, D.C.-based women’s leadership firm Mine The Gap have partnered to conduct research on gender dynamics in the workplace, which found that incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct still occur in professional settings in substantial numbers, and that businesses may soon feel the financial impacts of the #MeToo movement in staffing and revenue.
In a comprehensive online survey administered over the summer of 2018, FTI Consulting and Mine The Gap polled 4,764 professional women, with an additional sample of 1,030 professional men, in the industries of technology, finance, legal, energy and healthcare to test a number of key gender issues impacting workplaces today. This report, #MeToo at Work, is the first installment of research released by FTI Consulting and Mine The Gap on gender dynamics in the workplace.
Commenting on the research, Elizabeth Alexander, a Senior Managing Director in the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting and a crisis communications and gender inclusion specialist, said, “From all different viewpoints and industries, the research findings are stark: #MeToo at work is still happening, and employers that fail to take meaningful action to bring about change face a high risk of irrecoverable reputational and financial consequences. The research shows that professional women will wield their purchasing power and their talent as leverage for change: nearly half of the women surveyed said they would be less likely to apply for a job, buy products or stock from a company with a public #MeToo issue. For businesses to remain viable as the #MeToo movement continues to grow, entire industries need to look inward and overhaul policies, protocols, reporting mechanisms and trainings; evaluate cultures; take steps to fix gender imbalances; develop effective and transparent communications plans; and most importantly, hold aggressors, and those in a place to stop inappropriate behavior, accountable.”
Jessica N. Grounds, Co-Founder of Mine The Gap, added, “To stay competitive, companies must understand the different experiences women and men face daily at work. #MeToo dynamics, difficult office cultures and leadership imbalance all impact the success of the key industries we surveyed. Awareness is the first step to addressing these challenges. Our hope is that these findings give the supporting data and insight that companies need to build safer, more inclusive and more productive work environments.”
As companies reflect on the year since the #MeToo movement started gaining headline attention, our research shows it is vital for organizations to understand how office cultures, and professionals alike, continue to be impacted by it. The data demonstrates that companies have taken notice and professionals are seeing some progress in reformed protocols and improved processes for reporting sexual misconduct, yet difficult issues and problematic workplace behaviors endure across industries.
To read more about and download the #MeToo at Work research, please visit Gender.FTICommunications.com.