Laura Flanders: Weinstein's Downfall Suggests It's Time for a Shared-Power Index for Companies
So what happens next? Since allegations emerged of years of sexual abuse by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, hundreds of women have gone public about their experiences of men raping, groping, abusing and humiliating them. Some men have spoken up about sexual abuse by men too.
So what’s it going to take to make sexual abuse unacceptable? By now we’ve probably all heard lots of suggestions. Fire some men? Hire more women? That’s probably already happening.
A lot of powerful men have already lost their jobs even before criminal charges have been brought; jobs in media, jobs in business, jobs atop a restaurant chain, atop an Amazon production studio.
Women have a long way to go when it comes to equality in the workplace. At the bottom, many are trapped in low-skilled, poorly protected work. At the very top, women — the majority of the world’s people - still head only five percent or fewer of the world’s largest corporations.
Evening up gender power would help but at the end of the day, it’s power that’s the problem, isn’t it? Sexual abuse is abuse of power and we allow way too much of it to concentrate in too few places.
It seems to me that it’s long past time that concentrations of power were seen as the liability they are. Not just for our body economic, but for real flesh and blood bodies, and frankly, for investors. Chief executive officers of America’s largest firms earn something 2016 something like 271-to-1 more than their employees. And that’s an invitation to abuse. And costly lawsuits.
Too much male power, too much white power, cis power, age power, power power. Isn’t it time we came up with a concentration of power index — and ranked corporations accordingly?
For a while, "Sweat Free" was a thing you’d read on clothing, connoting a product supposedly not made in a sweatshop. ’s The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.
Sexism free? Best place to work index? How about a Most Spread Power label?
It couldn’t hurt. Got an idea for the graphic?