TO PREVENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT,
CHANGE THE CULTURE, SHRM CEO
TELLS CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS
Creating and maintaining a ha- rassment-free workplace is not just a legal priority but is also
essential for a healthy workplace,
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP,
president and chief executive ofcer
of SHRM, told California lawmakers
“HR can be a social force for good,”
said Taylor, who spoke at a hearing of
the California Legislature’s Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment
Prevention and Response.
The hearing focused on best practices for cultural change regarding
sexual harassment and was a bipartisan efort to improve the culture in
the state legislature.
“Culture always trumps compliance,” Taylor said. Relying solely on
rules and education to address sexual
harassment doesn’t work, he noted.
Employers could demand that every
employee take 10 hours of sexual
harassment training each week
and harassment will still happen.
Employers also should
establish a healthy
culture by taking
swift action, demonstrating transparency,
and being practical
about people and their
relationships with one
SHRM is committed to eliminating
all forms of harassment in the nation’s
workforce, Taylor said, urging the
state legislature to lead by example.
Hollywood, Wall Street and the legislature are all susceptible to sexual
harassment situations, Taylor told
“These workplaces are driven by
complex power dynamics. A few people hold the careers and the futures
of many others in their hands,” he
Rules, education and training are
necessary, but insufcient.
“It is a healthy culture that staves
of sexual harassment,” Taylor noted.
“Cultural change is the most import-
ant thing you can do—that all of us
can do—to make sure that all people
in the workplace are respected, val-
ued and empowered to succeed.”
To help address the issue, SHRM
has launched a year-long research
initiative, the Harassment-Free
Workplace Series. For more informa-
tion, visit www.shrm.org.
—Lisa Nagele-Piazza, SHRM-SCP, J.D.
57% of HR professionals believe
that unreported sexual harassment
incidents occur to a small extent in their
76% of nonmanager employees
who experienced sexual harassment
within the last year did not report it.
of HR professionals
report that their
organization has a sexual
employees say they
are not sure if their
organization has a policy.
Source: SHRM Harassment-Free Workplace Series: A Focus on Sexual Harassment, January 2018, 1,078 HR professionals and 1,223 nonmanager employees responding.