Women, now more than ever, are speaking up about their experiences with workplace sexual harassment and misconduct. From Anita Hill speaking to a crowd of Wellesley College about her trauma to employees at big tech firms launching full-blown protests, women and their allies are taking more control over toxic workplace cultures.
TIME’S UP Legal fund has been integral in the rise of the #MeToo movement and now its co-founders are tackling workplace culture by launching an anti-harassment training firm, according to Fortune.
Roberta Kaplan and Tina Tchen have launched HABIT, which stands for harassment, acceptance, bias and inclusion training, to provide company executives with tools, information and classes to end harassment within the workplace.
“It was pretty clear that there wasn’t enough available and willing legal support to represent women who either had claims or to defend them against claims, relating to issues of sexual assault or harassment at work,” Kaplan said to Fortune.
The two want to increase inclusivity within the workplaces and create safer environments for people of various backgrounds. They believe although there are laws in place to prevent and punish discrimination and harassment, fixing the issues starts with how workplaces are ran and the environments they foster.
“What we’re really addressing here is culture,” Tchen said.
Both women have lengthy resumes. Kaplan currently teaches law at Columbia University and helped win a monumental Supreme Court case that deemed the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Tchen is the former chief of staff to Michelle Obama and the former executive director of the Obama White House Council on Women and Girls.
HABIT will have expert volunteers assisting in training and raising money for the fund.
The firm is launching at a time when issues of harassment and misconduct have been popping up at some of the world’s biggest tech companies. This year, Microsoft and Google have been put under spotlights for the treatment of their female employees. In April, Microsoft had to launch an investigation after a leaked email thread showed a toxic culture for women at the company. Google has completely revamped its reporting processes to address gender discrimination and sexual harassment, after months of protests and backlash from its employees.
“We’ve heard over and over from a number of companies that the options available were unsatisfactory and that – particularly in this environment – they need a different kind of help,” Kaplan said to Fortune.