“If you want our business… clean up your act!” Sexual harassment in the age of social media.
Former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson got her revenge this week, a $20M settlement of her sexual harassment suit against former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, thought to be the highest single-plaintiff payoff ever. Cause for celebration, right? Maybe not, if you recall that Ailes, her former boss, received a $40m exit package, double the amount of her payout. Highest single plaintiff payout ever on the one hand, but only half as much as what Ailes got.
So should we celebrate or not?
Courage leads to more courage.
If it weren’t for Gretchen Carlson’s courage to ditch the arbitration clause in her contract and sue Ailes instead, the outcome could have been very different. Her courage galvanized the oh so many other female professionals within Fox to come forward, which then kicked off a PR nightmare for Fox News, pressuring it to remove Ailes.
Women have leverage in the Age of Social Media.
We know that women drive somewhere between 70-80% of all consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence. Don’t think for a minute that Fox News doesn’t know that too. Millions of women outraged about the toxic culture inside Fox – and the sexual ‘hoop’ that some ambitious female journalists have had to jump through in order to be promoted – were merciless in their rebuke of Fox via social media, amplifying the pressure on Fox to clean up its act.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Social media, with its one-to-many architecture, has given large brands the ability to deliver one message to many consumers. But the architecture also works well for consumers too, giving us the same power to deliver messages to large brands using a many-to-one approach. We are talking to you, Brands. In this case, women’s message to Fox was clear: “if you want my business, sexual discrimination is not OK.” The more we as women use social media to exercise the enormous leverage we have collectively as consumers, the bigger our impact will be to change these dinosaur corporate cultures, and the faster change will come.
Leverage=> Power => Social Media => Force for Positive Change
Venture capitalist Jeanne Sullivan is taking the cannabis industry by storm. Formerly, a co-founder of StarVest Partners, Sullivan is an advocate for cannabis legalization and adviser to investors in this new high growth industry. Jeanne tells host, Kelly Hoey, why cannabis presents such a massive business opportunity for women.
What is Inspiring Us This Week
Upcoming Guests & Events
- 9/15 – Kara Nortman, Partner, Upfront Ventures
- 9/21 – AMA with Sara Weinheimer, on Mogul