Sexual Harassment in the Cultural Sector

Four Workshops

(Photo: Dean Kaufman)

Update: On March 12 and 13, 2018, the New Museum organized four workshops on sexual harassment for cultural workers. Read some of the takeaways.

In light of recent, widespread allegations of sexual misconduct in every sector, the New Museum is organizing a series of four workshops on March 12 and 13 in order to provide tools, support, and guidance for both leaders and workers in the arts to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Arts workers of all genders are encouraged to attend. Each session will start with a twenty-minute introduction followed by an interactive workshop. Sessions are limited to 100 participants. Each session is $5 to attend. The workshops are organized by Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, with Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement; Margot Norton, Curator; and Karen Wong, Deputy Director.

March 12

Workshop 1: Drawing the Line
6:30 PM

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How can arts leaders set clear lines of professional conduct and uphold ethical standards of behavior in the workplace? What is crossing a line? Join management consultant Julie Kantor, who will speak about setting boundaries and fostering a culture of mutual respect.

Julie Kantor, PhD, psychologist, coach, and facilitator, serves as a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. She facilitates leadership and organizational growth, including building diverse and productive teams. Her speciality areas include executive presence, women’s leadership and sensitivity training. She consulted on two class action discrimination cases with the Sheet Metal Union and the New York City Fire Department, helping them to create a more inclusive and respectful work environment. Kantor works with a wide range of industries including media and entertainment, architecture, consumer products, professional services, and non-profits.

Workshop 2: Defining and Upholding Due Process
7:30 PM

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Join Laurie Ruettimann, a twenty-year HR veteran and consultant on gender equality in sexual harassment cases, and Kate Bischoff, an employment law attorney and HR consultant, for a workshop that addresses due process as it pertains to both those claiming sexual harassment and those accused of it. The evening will provide tools and clear protocols for how complaints and violations are most efficiently and fairly addressed, considering the protection of employees who file complaints, the role of bystanders in intervening, and employer rights and responsibilities in these cases. In addition, we will consider how the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” operates in today’s climate. Situating the #MeToo era within a longer history in the fight for equal opportunity, the workshop will also discuss the passage and implementation of Title IX in 1972, the rise of workplace sexual harassment and diversity trainings in the 1980s and ’90s, and the increasing use of arbitration and non-disclosure agreements to address violations over the last decade.

With more than two decades of Human Resources experience in Fortune 500 organizations, Laurie Ruettimann has written extensively about how employers and employees can handle sexual misconduct. In addition to creating Punk Rock HR, which was recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Blogs for Women, Ruettimann cofounded several HR start-ups including New Media Services LLC and HRM Today, the first social network for HR professionals. Her advice has been featured in various publications such as the New York Times, US News & World Report, CFO Magazine, Shape, Men’s Health, Vox, NPR, and others.

Kate Bischoff is a management-side employment attorney and SHRM-SCP/SPHR-certified HR pro. She has worked as the Human Resources Officer for the US Consulate General, Jerusalem, and the US Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia. As a lawyer, she’s practiced all sorts of employment law, including discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour cases. She works closely with management and HR folks to improve organizations and make it easier to recruit and retain talent through easy-to-understand policies, easy-to-use technology, and easy-to-explain compliance initiatives.

March 13

Workshop 3: Dealing with Transgressions and Gray Areas
6:30 PM

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Join distinguished employment attorney Davida S. Perry for a workshop focused on clarifying the legal definitions of inappropriate behavior and accountability when it comes to consent, as well as identifying the gray areas that surround the subject. The evening will offer strategies for dealing with unwanted sexual advances within larger institutions as well as for the self-employed and within smaller businesses lacking Human Resources departments, and will suggest actions that colleagues and bystanders can take to stop harassment and assault.

Davida S. Perry is the cofounding and managing partner of Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP, a boutique law firm focusing on employment discrimination and sexual harassment. A civil litigator since 1986, Perry has achieved landmark decisions, namely the sexual harassment case Thoreson v. Penthouse Magazine and Robert Guccione (1992), which set a significant precedent that a claim can be established based on victim’s testimony alone. She has co-authored numerous articles and recently copublished a piece in TIME Magazine: “What to Do If You’re Sexually Harassed and Your Company Doesn’t Have HR.” For each year since 2009, Ms. Perry has been included in the New York Super Lawyers directory and in 2012 she was named one of the top fifty women lawyers in the New York Metro Area. In 2017, Perry was named one of New York Magazine’s Women Leaders in the Law.

Workshop 4: Changing the Balance of Power and
Getting What We Deserve: Salaries, Promotions, Mentorship
7:30 PM

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Sexual harassment is often rooted in power imbalances in the workplace, which are clearly reflected in the gender pay gap. That gap was harshly illuminated recently when it was reported that a female actor earned $1,000 for film reshoots while her male colleague received a $1.5 million fee. Across all industries, women on average are paid 20 percent less than their male counterparts, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars of unrealized income over a lifetime. This session will be led by Annette Richardson, special advisor to United Nations Women, a global champion for gender equality. Richardson will focus on how we value women’s work, tactics for negotiating salaries and promotions, and what resources are available to benchmark one’s economic status. In this workshop, please be prepared to share your own stories and to participate in role-play.

Annette Richardson is Managing Partner at Decade Citizen, strategic advisor, social “disruptor,” and Special Advisor to the Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She has launched humanitarian campaigns and development conferences including the United Nations Millennium Campaign’s Stand Up Against Poverty, the World Health Organization’s Deliver Now for Women and Children, the World Innovation Summit, and many more. She is currently coordinating the first UN Women US Road Show. She has received the Ideagen Empowering Women Award (2015), the Humanitarian Innovation Award for Global Partnerships and Women’s Empowerment (2015), the Global Citizen Award (2010), and the Professional Woman of the Year Award by the National Association of Professional Women (2010), and was selected as one of the 200 Most Powerful Minds by Forbes Woman in 2013 and 2014.

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