The organization I lead, a nonprofit consulting firm called Community Resource Exchange, serves upwards of 500 nonprofits annually.
In the past year, we have seen an uptick in requests from social sector organizations seeking guidance on how to prevent and address issues of sexual harassment and assault, driven in part by the #MeToo movement.
Social sector organizations are driven by their missions to do good for others, but even mission-driven organizations are susceptible to issues of sexual harassment.
Seizing the #MeToo moment to bring change gives employees the respect and equity they deserve. It’s also an opportunity for organizational risk engagement: the good work of any nonprofit can be jeopardized by just one person’s actions, exposing structural weaknesses, power imbalances, and disparate responses.
As we heard during a panel we hosted last week, all of this is often influenced by unconscious bias, and disproportionately harms women, gender non-binary, and trans women, and in particular, people of color.
To address these issues, nonprofits must focus on workplace culture, not just compliance. They must identify and address disparities that exacerbate gender inequity; diversify their leadership and board; and focus on strengthening accountability and on investing in necessary human resources.
Nonprofits exist to advance a social purpose that betters the world. Now we all must dig deeper and implement institutional change to illustrate that we are truly committed to the real, lasting benefits that equity can bring.
President & CEO
Community Resource Exchange