Tech: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tells employees about a colleague who was sexually harassed to show why some victims don't come forward

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he shares a story about a colleague's sexual harassment to stress the "high stakes" of victims coming forward.

  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shares a story with employees to help them understand why some sexual harassment victims don't report incidents.
  • "Statistics don’t move people, stories move people," Hastings said.
  • Hastings tells employees about a colleague who was sexually harassed by a male superior and never reported it.
  • "It’s really high stakes to report an incident of harassment, and that’s why a lot of people don’t report it," he added.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shared at the Wall Street Journal's recent Women in the Workplace gala (via Quartz) that he tells a story to employees about a colleague being sexually harassed to demonstrate why some victims don't report incidents.

"Statistics don’t move people, stories move people," Hastings said.

Hastings said that a Netflix colleague faced "tremendous sexual harassment for two years" from a male superior, but didn't report it out of fear that it wouldn't be dealt with properly, or that she might lose a job she loved because of it.

"Finally one of her colleagues reported it, and once we found out we promptly investigated it and fired him," Hastings said. "Only later, as I got to know the victim, she explained to me that she loved her job, and she wasn’t sure what would happen if she brought it up. She wasn’t sure if we would deal with it. She wasn’t sure if we would fire him. And you know, this is a highly competent, professional person."

Hastings added, "It’s really high stakes to report an incident of harassment, and that’s why a lot of people don’t report it."

Hastings has told this story to Netflix employees "again and again" to try and hammer the point home, he said.

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