As the nation absorbs the extent of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and as women come forward after years of silence to reveal the breadth of the problem, Gretchen Carlson’s book Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, seems to land at the perfect time.
In telling her own story of sexual harassment while a television personality at Fox News, Carlson is encouraging women to find the courage to speak out about their own situations, to be fierce, and offers a roadmap for both individuals and companies in confronting the problem.
In an email, Carlson told us companies have a “big role to play and can take real steps to stop harassment in the workplace—such as hiring ombudsman to make the reporting process fairer, taking sexual harassment training seriously, including bystander training, and making it clear that there is a no tolerance policy about harassment.”
Bottom line here, it may take an independent, outside representative to investigate harassment allegations. As she said on CBS This Morning, it could be difficult for human resources to properly address the problem if the harasser is paying their salary.
Carlson also took issue with arbitration clauses that are included in many employee contracts and can be used as tools to hide abuses as highlighted in this New York Times article, Abuses Hide in the Silence of Nondisparagement Agreements.
“There is also work to do in the law,” Carlson said. “And I’ve supported congressional efforts to get rid of forced arbitration for these cases – taking away people’s 7th amendment rights – forcing women into a secret chamber where no one ever hears what happened to them and the violators are allowed to go on with their lives unpunished.”
The book is just part of Carlson’s efforts to address sexual harassment and empower women. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to her Gift of Courage fund, helping “young women recognize their full potential and the bright future that awaits them, as well as helping women realize a safe and nurturing place in the workforce.”
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