from the world's big
Sexual harassment: Organizations must stop protecting ‘brilliant jerks’
More rules is not what's going to stop sexual harassment at work, says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. Change the culture.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world's largest HR professional society. As a global leader on human capital, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice by C-suite executives as well as state and federal elected policymakers on all matters affecting work, workers and the workplace. He is frequently invited to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues—from sexual harassment to paid leave—and authors a weekly column, "Ask HR," in USA Today, the country's largest newspaper.
JOHNNY C. TAYLOR, JR.: Too many organizations have tolerated the brilliant jerk. Too many organizations have tolerated the highly profitable sexual harasser or bully. And what you then do is message to everyone, despite what we say, this is a competitive environment, and he who brings the most money or he who is at the highest level in the organization dictates the rules. And so they vary. There's two sets of rules. There are rules for the powerful and for the not-so-powerful. That is a really complicated issue. And I think it's why we struggle with it.
I'm going to give you an example of something that I just recently experienced. I was interviewed recently with a younger woman, millennial—happens to have been—and she talked about having began her career on Capitol Hill. And she said while on Capitol Hill, she was subjected to a sexually hostile workplace. There was harassment in the traditional sense, people asking people out for dates; the person to whom she reported was openly physically interested in her. And then just the overall milieu, the work milieu—conversations were inappropriate. And she said she knew that she could go to HR, but she chose not to. And she said she knew the policies, the practices and how you could make a complaint. But she chose not to because after she talked with her other colleagues, men and women, what they told her was, if you do that, you're likely not only to limit your career opportunities here, but outside of the organization. You won't ever begin to fully understand the consequences and the ramifications of complaining about this because of the power of the person in the job.
And so essentially, she began to consent to it. And that's a really interesting dynamic that I had never thought about. So on one hand, she said, 'I knew I could have complained. I chose not to because I knew, I factored in what damage it would do to my reputation, professional reputation, going forward.'
So there is a part of people, especially those of us who are upwardly mobile, who decide to tolerate certain behaviors. But from the employee's perspective, it does a couple of things, one, productivity. I can not be focused and deliver my best work, and be as efficient and effective as I can be if I'm distracted by sexual harassment in the workplace. That's number one. Number two, it makes me not bring my true self to work because I'm busy protecting, at least the part of me that's at risk as a result of the incidents of sexual harassment. So it is so important as we invest tens of thousands and, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars in an individual—think about your salary. You're paying someone $50,000 a year; I want $50,000-plus return on that investment. And if that person can't bring their true self, their best self, to you, then you're losing money, and they're not being able to flourish and thrive. So that's the other thing.
Overall morale is people have a fundamental sense of fairness. And it is unfair if the word gets out that this is an organization that tolerates sexual harassment or, in worse cases, encourages it. It so affects the overall culture and the morale and the sense of well-being, that you—it's just countless. We can't even measure the damage that it does to organizations.
Designing a culture where you explain to people what may not rise to the level of legal consequence, but it is of consequence to the culture, to the overall wellness of the workplace. It becomes a really critical part in finding, retaining, and promoting the right people. So this focus, almost a maniacal focus on culture now is the answer versus having new laws, new rules. You see, we've had new rules and new laws on the books for a very long time. Yet we still have sexual harassment and other forms of workplace harassment and discrimination. If rules could solve for this, then we wouldn't have a problem 20 or 30 years later. I mean, we've had a Civil Rights Act Since 1964. And yet we still have race discrimination claims. We still have age discrimination claims. We have all of these things in spite of rules. So what we've now got to do is really focus on how we change the culture in an organization, so the culture itself exists and it pulls people who don't engage in good behavior out. And that's difficult. I mean, think about it. Your star performer is known to flirt the line, if not cross the line, with respect to inappropriate workplace behavior. Are you prepared to fire that person, even if it means you may lose a major contract? That's when employees will judge who you are and what this company is really about. They're going to judge you on what you do, not what you say.
- "Too many organizations have tolerated the brilliant jerk. Too many organizations have tolerated the highly profitable sexual harasser or bully," says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. At this point in time, more rules is not the answer. The workplace culture must reject harassers.
- When organizations do nothing to stop harassers and have one set of rules for the powerful and one for the powerless, productivity, workplace culture, and morale are affected in ways we can measure, and in insidious, destructive ways that we cannot.
- "Think about it, says Taylor. "Your star performer is known to flirt the line, if not cross the line, with respect to inappropriate workplace behavior. Are you prepared to fire that person, even if it means you may lose a major contract? That's when employees will judge who you are and what this company is really about. They're going to judge you on what you do, not what you say."
- How the science community can end sexual harassment - Big Think ›
- Solidarity is not dead: how workers can force progressive change ... ›
- Sexual harassment: What can and can't you say at work? - Big Think ›
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.
A time for sleep<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Mt29uUqI" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="931343dee3c02121445e51e94ba22446"> <div id="botr_Mt29uUqI_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Mt29uUqI-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Previous studies had already suggested a link between persistent nightmares in childhood and psychosis and borderline personality disorder (BPD) by adolescence, but researchers at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology wanted to see if a similar connection existed between these mental disorders and other childhood behavioral sleep problems.</p><p>To do this, they scoured data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal cohort study that followed approximately 14,000 children born in Avon, England, in the early 1990s. The study followed the children for more than 13 years. During that time, mothers filled out questionnaires asking about the children's lives. Factors looked at included housing, parenting, nutrition, physical health, mental wellbeing, environmental exposures, and so on. </p><p>The cohort study inquired about sleep routines, sleep duration, and awakening frequency when the children were 6, 18, and 30 months old, and then again at 3.5, 4.8, and 5.8 years. It also assessed mental health in adolescence using semi-structured interviews, such as the Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview.</p><p>"We know that adolescence is a key developmental period to study the onset of many mental disorders, including psychosis or BPD. This is because of particular brain and hormonal changes which occur at this stage," <a href="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/psychology/marwaha-steven.aspx" target="_blank">Steven Marwaha</a>, professor of psychiatry at Birmingham and senior author on the study, <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701125431.htm" target="_blank">said in a release</a>. "Sleep may be one of the most important underlying factors—and it's one that we can influence with effective, early interventions, so it's important that we understand these links."</p><p>After compiling the data, the researchers discovered an association between children with irregular sleeping patterns and teenagers with <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/about-psychosis/" target="_blank">psychotic experiences</a>—that is, episodes when the person perceives reality differently than those around them. Even when depression at 10 years old was considered as a mediating factor, their findings still suggested "a specific pathway between these childhood sleep problems and adolescent psychotic experiences." </p><p>Toddlers with shorter nighttime sleep duration and late bedtimes were likewise associated with a <a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml" target="_blank">borderline personality disorder</a>—a disorder marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-images, and behaviors—in their teenage years. Depression at age 10 did not mediate this particular association, suggesting a separate and more specific pathway. </p>
A more restful tomorrow<p>While the sample size was large and mental health was assessed with a validated interview, there nevertheless remain limitations to this data. For starters, sleep habits were based on mothers' reports. Because they came from memory, versus a more direct observation method such as actigraphy, these data may be prone to imperfect recollection and reporting error. There are also many confounders that could be secretly nudging the results, such as family conditions, prenatal medicines, and a host of environmental factors. Finally, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024884/#:~:text=Sleep%20difficulties%20in%20youth%20with,fear%20of%20dark%20%5B13%5D." target="_blank">the relationship between sleep problems and mental disorders</a> is both complex and two-way.</p><p>As such, the study shows an association between poor childhood sleep later mental disorders but does not prove a causal link. Parents need not worry that a string of nightmares or the eternal struggle settle into bed will be the first ingredients in a witches' brew of debilitating mental disorders. The goal of the study, the researchers point out, is not to create undue worry but improve our ability to recognize the signs of at-risk children and deliver necessary interventions earlier.</p><p>"The results of this study could have important implications for helping practitioners identify children who might be at higher risk for psychotic experiences or BPD symptoms in adolescence, and potentially lead to the design of more effectively targeted sleep or psychological interventions to prevent the onset or attenuate these mental disorders," Isabel Morales-Muñoz, the study's lead researcher, <a href="https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20200702/childhood-sleep-problems-linked-to-adolescent-psychosis-borderline-personality-disorder#:~:text=Sleep%20problems%20during%20early%20childhood,study%20published%20in%20JAMA%20Psychiatry." target="_blank">told Healio Psychiatry</a><u>.</u></p><p>If a parent reading this is worried that their child's sleep patterns are deleterious, the take away should not be despair over an unyielding fate. It should be to seek professional help as soon as possible to begin improving sleep duration and quality. Even if you aren't worried, it's worth remembering that childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of salubrious sleeping habits. It's so much more than beauty rest.</p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.