This Is Why Sexual Harassment Claims On Glassdoor Reviews Are Important

Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
In the era of #MeToo, the stubborn climate of sexual harassment and gender inequity in the workplace and beyond is finally being acknowledged. We have seen countless men be dethroned for inappropriate behavior, but aside from the larger victories, there are countless individuals leveraging their voices and platforms for change, every single day. Take Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman, for example.
Job seekers have long depended on Glassdoor for insight into work culture, office dynamics, salary ranges, and more. And, as noted by The New Yorker, the jobs site is leveraging its incisive transparency to subvert corporate power dynamics.
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“I'm sexually harassed on a daily basis,” one Glassdoor user wrote. “I'm supposed to smile and pretend like it’s fine because it's a male dominated business and that's ‘how it works.’” Reviews like this are not uncommon. In fact, the site is rife with them. And while the sheer number of harassment reports is jarring, it’s hard to overstate the importance of such testimonies living somewhere where they're accessible to others.
Though Glassdoor reviews are akin to Yelp grievances — laced with strong emotions and, at times, a certain air of reprisal — the anonymity afforded to users also encourages a degree of candor. And, when it comes to reporting sexual harassment or discrimination, this is a good thing.
On a new episode of Recode Decode, Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman told Kara Swisher about the company’s culture of transparency, particularly as related to harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
“Someone said, ‘the CEO only hires blondes and they disappear into his office for hours on end and rumors fly,’” Hohman told Recode Decode. “It’s like, ‘Okay, are we going to allow this? Are we not going to allow it? Does it belong?’ Well, it kind of matters if you’re a woman. A blonde woman thinking of going to work here.”
Ultimately, Hohman said sexual harassment-related reviews will remain on the site, defending that the allegations are of importance to job-seekers at risk of being targeted by these alleged actions. And while the future of corporate America still hangs in the balance when it comes to handling skewed racial and gender dynamics, Hohman’s decision to prioritize testimonies that serve to protect job seekers (instead of company reputations) is reassuring.
“We always look at it through the lens of, ‘Will it help a job seeker on whether to go to work here?’” Hohman summarized. “Obviously, that information is relevant to whether you’re going to go to work there, and so we allow it.”
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