What others say: Issue needs more than a hashtag

  • By The Boston Herald editorial
  • Wednesday, November 1, 2017 12:04pm
  • Opinion

No, sexual harassment isn’t just for celebrities.

Of course, we knew that all along, even if it did take the horrific level of allegations of gross misconduct and predatory behavior by producer Harvey Weinstein to capture the public’s attention and kick off the #metoo movement.

Two celebrity chefs, Todd English and John Besh, are now being accused of harassment by former employees.

Four female members of the U.S. Senate told their stories over the weekend, including Massachusetts’ own Elizabeth Warren, who shared an account of her early days as a new law professor on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and of being harassed by a senior faculty member.

“He slammed the door (of his office) and lunged for me,” she said. “It was like a bad cartoon. He’s chasing me around the desk, trying to get his hands on me.”

You’d think even back in the day a male law professor would know better.

And just yesterday Fidelity Investments Chairman Abigail Johnson issued a video message to the firm’s over 40,000 employees saying, “Today, I’d like to remind everyone that we have no tolerance at our company for any type of harassment. We simply will not, and do not tolerate this type of behavior, from anyone.”

According to a number of published reports, Fidelity has dismissed at least two money managers after they were accused of sexual harassment and the firm has hired a consultant to examine its processes for handling such situations. According to The Wall Street Journal, a Boston-based stock-picking unit had a particularly problematic “culture.”

Yes, it certainly will take more than a hashtag to tackle a problem that everyone seemed to know existed, but no one really wanted to expose — including or in many cases especially the victims. But when the headlines fade and the hashtag is long forgotten it will still take corporate leaders like Johnson and many of her male counterparts to continue the effort — and make sure another generation doesn’t have to endure such treatment.

— The Boston Herald,

Oct. 24

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