It’s Time to Talk About What HR Can Do About Sexual Harassment

I never thought that I would keynote a conference about workplace harassment with Gretchen Carlson.

Ten years after leaving my day-to-day job in HR, it’s disheartening that women and people of color still continue to face extraordinary hurdles in the modern workforce. You think things would be different. We’re in a talent-driven economy and face labor shortages in all aspects of the market, and, yet, managers and supervisors still harass workers like it’s the early twentieth century.

What’s worse is that HR fails to protect the interests of employees across all industries and job categories. When a complaint comes to light, HR is both disinterested and disempowered. When challenged to do better, many human resources professionals will say things like, “I promise you that we listen to our employees, Laurie, but I can’t comment due to personnel policy and privacy laws.”

It’s such a lie. It breaks my heart.

I’m keynoting TLNT’s Workplace Harassment Summit on January 28, 2018, with Gretchen Carlson. I’m not interested in blaming HR or vilifying men in positions of power because, honestly, that’s too easy. I hope to start a conversation on how HR can redeem itself and address harassment complaints differently in 2018.

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Since you work in HR, I’d love to have you there. Can you get yourself to New York City on January 28? Win a free ticket by emailing me with an answer to the following question:

Even though HR isn’t always the most powerful or influential department, what’s one thing HR can do to protect workers from harassment and abuse?

Send your email to laurie@thecynicalgirl.com by December 11th, and I will pick one recipient. I’ll also have additional tickets available in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for updates. I hope to hear from you, and I welcome your ideas on how to advance this conversation.

Laurie Ruettimann is a former human resources leader turned writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. She is also author of Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career.

CNN has recognized Laurie as one of the top five career advisors in the United States, and her work has been featured on NPR, The New YorkerUSA TodayThe Wall Street Journal, and Vox. Laurie frequently delivers keynote speeches at business and management events around the world and hosts the popular podcast Punk Rock HR. She lives with her husband and cats in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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