The Legal (and Bottom-Line Cost) Impact of Inequity Gets CEOs’ Attention in Business and at Work


The Times Union reported over the weekend on a Siena Research Institute poll of a vast majority of CEOs who don’t believe that sexual harassment or pay parity issues are “a very big problem.”

As a long-time HR Practitioner, I suspect that the CEO respondents in the above-mentioned poll have not (yet) experienced significant financial body-blows to the bottom line as a result of legal action resulting from not considering sexual harassment or pay parity issues as a very big problem on the front end, e.g. front and center on a CEO’s radar.

Such as:

  • Paying a nearly $600,000 total lawsuit settlement for repeatedly failing to intervene / stop harassment on the part of a NYS Assemblyman;
  • The reputational and financial damage caused by repeatedly failing to intervene / stop harassment on the part of both New York and California elected officials;
  • And the repeated bottom-line body blows experienced by the leadership of NFL teams to effectively and conclusively intervene on harassment.

These combined back-end costs tend to be instructive in reserving a place on a CEO’s radar to manage these issues effectively on the front-end, often after a significant cost is exacted for not doing so.

How will you keep preventing issues of inequity on your organization’s CEO front-end radar to best preserve your organization’s financial and reputational assets, in business and at work?

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