The political and cultural climate surrounding workplace sexualharassment is evolving faster than many companies can address or adapt to on their own.Internal and external stakeholders (management, employees,customers, clients and business partners) have new and heightenedexpectations about what companies should be doing to prevent andrespond to harassment—whether reported or not.

Moreover, recent public campaigns against sexual harassment andassault (e.g., #MeToo, Time's Up) reflect a sea change in howindividuals make allegations, how the media covers them, and howthe general public views the remedy or response. While corporatepolicies and practices have long recognized the need for publicaccountability, today's companies now must prepare for directpublic scrutiny of how they address workplace sexualharassment.

Companies are best served by looking at this evolving climatethrough a proactive lens. Board members and CSuite executivesshould be asking the hard questions: To what extent is workplacesexual harassment present in your company? Are there structuralimpediments to individuals reporting harassment, or to your companyeffectively responding to such reports? Beyond baseline policies,procedures and training, what other interventions might helpfacilitate a culture of respect, diversity and inclusion?

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