It’s no secret that harassment and discrimination continue to live in the workplace. Thankfully movements like “me too” were started to bring awareness and help survivors. Then there are also companies like tEQuitable that preceded those movements while utilizing technology.
“Before Weinstein and when ‘me too’ went viral, we started before that, and it really was a moment in time where enough is enough,” CEO and co-founder of tEQuitable, Lisa Gelobter, said.
The technologist and computer scientist has an impressive resume, including companies like Hulu, Shockwave, BET and more, according to the company’s website. Her list of accomplishments also includes having served as the Chief Digital Officer for the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration. It was during her time at the White House that further expanded her view on the capabilities of technology and ultimately led her to develop tEQuitable.
“It was really there that I came to understand that we truly could harness technology to solve what had been previously thought of as intractable problems,” she said. “If we could send a Tesla Roadster to outer space, then we can use some of those same best practices right here on our home planet to solve the issues of the underserved, unrepresented, and the underestimated, and that was how tEQuitable was born.”
tEQuitable uses technology to make workspaces more equitable by providing employees with a private and confidential digital platform where they can address harassment and discriminatory complaints. The founder said that their mission is to assist companies in creating a culture that will work for everyone and make a systemic and societal change.
“If you’re feeling uncomfortable in the workplace, you open up the application and could get a tip to use to go back and address the issue directly yourself, or you could use one of our learning modules,” Gelobter said.
Along with offering confidential calls with trained personnel, tEQuitable’s system also teaches employees how they can respond when faced with a backhanded or racially insensitive comment. However, the learning module for allies that witness discrimination or harassment of a fellow employee is the feature that Gelobter is most proud of.
“20 percent of the incidences submitted have actually been on behalf of somebody else,” Gelobter said. “When you get the allies and advocates engaged, that’s a win.”
As an independent and impartial company, tEQuitable also offers employers behavior trend data that can be used to improve workplace culture.
“We gather data, both quantitive and qualitative, and we use that to identify systemic issues within an organization’s culture to create a report for the management team with actionable recommendations,” Gelobter said.
Cloud communications company — Twilio — along with other leading companies, provides its employees with access to the technology. All of tEQuitable’s features aim to provide both the employee and employer with the tools necessary to advance their mission.