Sexual Harassment: The Dumbest Thing on Wall Street

Sexual harassment isn't just wrong, it's dumb. Kinsey Grant breaks down how disgraceful behavior impacts the bottom line.
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White male executives at booming tech companies can be like ticking time bombs. Armed with the right venture capital, skinny jeans and t-shirt, these men wield staggering power. But, nearly as often as a white male tech exec does something benevolent, another seems to do something disgraceful.

More often than not, that disgraceful thing weighs on the entire company. That's why this week, white male tech executives are the dumbest thing on Wall Street.

Let me be crystal clear: the despicable actions of a handful do not and should not characterize an entire industry or group.

But my point is that it's not just one man stepping out of line. The examples have started to pile high, unfortunate as it is. This week, it was Amazon Studios head Roy Price who stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment from one of his producers. But we've seen similar situations at firms such as Uber, Google and notably the Weinstein Company over the last six months.

How often do we have to see this example before we begin to point out its repetition? It's becoming like lather, rinse, repeat -- ascend to power, twist those below you into submission, buy everyone's silence.

But when the truth eventually comes out, the company could take a huge hit. As reputation expert Eric Schiffer said, "The wrong action can be the kiss of death for a brand." You could jeopardize recruitment or business relationships and even test the boundaries of the law.

I'll be the first to admit that for every Harvey Weinstein or Roy Price, there is a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates, pure of heart and clear of intention. But the world isn't a locker room ripe for boy talk, and neither is the office. So, check your privilege at the door next time you enter the C-suite. Otherwise, you could be one of the dumbest on Wall Street.

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