Can Virtual Reality End Real-World Sexual Harassment? - Morgan Mercer

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In the post-MeToo era, men who would never consider saying a harassing word or venture a grope are now asking themselves “can I hug a co-worker anymore?”

“Can I put my arm around someone in a photo?”

“Can I have dinner with a female co-worker...alone?”
For the most part, workplace sexual harassment training includes the same rote video, awkward role-playing scenarios or yawn-inducing speaker, and is not remotely equipped to end a culture of enabling harassers or dismissing claims.

What kinds of training tools will create a true change in workplace culture? The kind that helps workers and supervisors comprehend the nuances of what sexual harassment looks like and how the power dynamics of workplace sexual harassment can damage the careers and well beings of those harassed?

Morgan Mercer, CEO of enterprise training platform Vantage Point, believes the answers to these questions, as well as more nuanced insights about the nature of workplace sexual harassment, lies in virtual reality.   

Listen to my convo with Mercer as we discuss why corporate sexual harassment training has for the most part failed women, and how immersive experiences like virtual reality may be the key to unlocking empathy, action and change.

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How tyrants rise to power, "The Story of Roger Ailes" filmmaker Alexis Bloom

Fox News has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to silence women who were sexually harassed and assaulted while working there. The story of former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes’ rise to power and eventual downfall is the story of enablers: people who are willing to look the other way when a predator abuses people, and who are willing to step in and muzzle the victims he leaves in his wake. This story is still happening every day. How do tyrants win such undying loyalty from others? And what will it take to refuse to stand by and let powerful men get away with anything they want? I spoke filmmaker with Alexis Bloom, who directed the documentary, “Divide & Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes.”

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“Put down your male fragility”: Scene On Radio’s John Biewen & Celeste Headlee on how men can help fight patriarchy

What’s going on with men? Why is it so hard to negotiate the gender power dynamic in everyday situations, like work meetings? Can masculinity exist without its more toxic forms? And why can men get away with sexual misconduct---and even end up seeming like the “real” victim when they’re accused?

While I’ve taken this season of Inflection Point to focus on what women can do to rise up and have more power, John Biewen and Celeste Headlee of Scene on Radio - MEN have been examining how the patriarchy that we’re rising up against was formed in the first place--and what to do about it.

Today we’re taking a look at the conversations we’ve had over the past seasons of both shows and comparing notes to see if we can find some answers---together.

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How To Be A Female Founder - Live From Women In Product, Silicon Valley

This fall, I was invited to moderate a panel for a conference put on by Women In Product, a non-profit formed to create a strong community of women builders and leaders in the tech industry. My panel included four female founders of technology companies: Cheryl Contee of Fission Strategy, Heather Fernandez of Solv, Selina Tobaccowala of Gixo and Aarthi Ramamurthy of Lumoid.

You’ll hear what surprised each of them about starting a company, the pros and cons of running a company while female, from leadership style to sexual harassment and gender bias–and ultimately as business-people what it takes to scale.

Selina Tobaccowala, Aarthi Ramamurthy, Heather Fernandez, Cheryl Contee and Lauren Schiller  Photo courtesy of Women In Product

Selina Tobaccowala, Aarthi Ramamurthy, Heather Fernandez, Cheryl Contee and Lauren Schiller

Photo courtesy of Women In Product