Tackling Sexual Harassment

To create a workplace where every member of staff can succeed, employers must address sexual harassment. The #metoo movement has taught us that sexual harassment can happen anywhere–no organization is immune. The statistics indicate that even when it doesn’t appear to be a known problem in the organization, unreported incidents can still foster a toxic work environment.

Sexually harassing behavior can occur at the office, happy hours, or off-site retreats. Employees—from managers to interns to maintenance staff—and third parties including clients, customers, vendors, and funders can all enact sexually harassing behavior or be on the receiving end of it. Your organization must address it not only to avoid legal liability and protect its brand, but because doing so effectively enables an inclusive workplace where employees spend less time worrying about managing interpersonal interactions and more time focused on their job.

ReadySet’s expert Rory Gerberg brings over a decade of experience addressing sexual harassment and assault to engage a wide range of organizations and contexts, from mid-sized tech companies and venture capital firms, to foundations and small non-profits, covering compliance and beyond. Rory drives our sexual harassment work in partnership with the rest of the ReadySet team.

ReadySet supports organizations in tackling sexual harassment through:

Facilitating interactive in-person training. Tackling sexual harassment is no small challenge; it requires an individual to acquire knowledge and develop new skills and capacities. ReadySet’s workshops support your staff in doing just that. All workshops are tailored to the specific needs and objectives of organization and workshop participants. They are highly interactive and include a combination of lecture, small and large group discussion. Learn more about our Sexual Harassment Training.

Presenting at conferences and events. You may want to address #metoo for your community but not know how. It can be tough to find someone who has the breadth of experience and the flexibility to provide a customized talk for an event or conference bringing individuals across different organizations and even industries. Rory speaks on what your attendees need to know to tackle harassment, sharing lessons learned from her experience and best practices for organizations. Rory also speaks on the neurobiology of how our bodies hold trauma in our physiological fight, flight, or freeze response, and how our individual histories and systems of education impact the challenges in the workplace we face today.

Consulting on policy and procedures. Sexual harassment at an org can be costly, both culturally and financially. The best way to to tackle sexual harassment is to prevent it. ReadySet reviews company employee handbooks and revamps policies which seek to eliminate workplace sexual harassment. Where relevant, ReadySet works with clients to identify risk factors in their operating environment where sexual harassment is more likely to occur, and supports the development of policies tailored to their operational context.

Advising on response to incidents. Sexual harassment can have a serious impact on individual employees and team morale. When sexual harassment does occur, in addition to raising legal concerns, leadership's response has a critical impact on how the incident effects workplace culture and trust in leadership. ReadySet provides strategic advisory services to organizational leadership responding to specific instances or situations.

Advising on communications. Messaging around response to incidents of sexual harassment can be complex and requires nuance to weave between legal constraints and personal concerns. Yet, preventing sexual harassment requires that expectations regarding respectful workplace interactions are clearly communicated across organizational policies, internal communications, and employee training. The more holistic and integrated the approach, the more likely it will be effective. ReadySet provides strategic advising on how policies should be communicated and framed by leadership, and integrated into training programs, while also staying within the boundaries of employment law

About the facilitator


Rory Gerberg is a consultant and trainer on diversity and inclusion, with an expertise in sexual harassment prevention and response. Her sexual harassment work goes beyond legal compliance to integrate behavioral science insights to further more effective prevention and response. She tailors content to a wide-range of clients, from small startups to large tech firms in today's headlines.

Rory holds a master's degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was awarded the Holly Taylor Sargent Award for her work advancing Harvard's sexual harassment policies and Programs. Her commentary on issues of sexual harassment and assault has been featured in the New York Times, Quartz, Politico, Associated Press, NPR, and CBS This Morning. She has published Op-Eds in the Boston Globe and the Harvard Kennedy School Review, and served as an advisor to the think tank New America’s Sexual Harassment Solutions Toolkit.

You can get a flavor for how she integrates behavioral insights into her sexual harassment training through her Ideas42 Behavioral Summit talk.

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