[A] group of women at Nike were fed up with the toxic culture. They took matters into their own hands and conducted a survey of female staff about the incidence of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
They put the results on the CEO’s desk and within weeks up to six men had either left the company or announced they would be leaving.
This type of upheaval is unprecedented in so many ways. Not only were there consequences but they were delivered swiftly and they went beyond the predictable offering of a single sacrificial lamb.
It’s genuine change that was forced by a group of women coming together and saying enough is enough. It’s confirmation that when women unite they have power and are a force to be reckoned with. It is proof that time really is up and change isn’t just possible – but achievable.
Around the world women are uniting in various collective actions and it’s far from futile. In the US it started with the #TimesUp legal fund. In the UK women have joined forces to work behind the scenes together to demand equal pay.
Here, Now Australia has been formed as the nonpartisan not-for-profit organisation that can be a port of call for anyone experiencing sexual harassment, assault or intimidation in the workplace.
Now Australia, led by Tracey Spicer, is also fighting for legislative changes: extending the civil statute of limitations, introducing proper protections for freedom of speech and reassessing defamation laws, which protect the rich and powerful.
As anyone invested in gender equality can attest, the fight is maddening and the temptation to lose hope is very real. But, honestly, reading about what those Nike women have achieved made me believe genuine change is underway. The kind of change that back in 2011 I really didn’t believe would ever occur.
Just do it, hey?