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A Conversation About Sexual Harassment with Janine Yancey, CEO of Emtrain (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Feb 22nd 2018

Sramana Mitra: I actually don’t think it’s a problem. You’ve built a reasonable, profitable company that you own yourself with a small group of team members. You’re at $5 million in revenue. I don’t see why you apologize for it.

Janine Yancey: I guess the reason why is, I look back and I cringe at what I didn’t know.

Sramana Mitra: That’s normal.

Janine Yancey: You’re right. At this point in my journey, I have so much more clarity as you would expect. I guess there would have been a different path that I could have taken that would have been a more strategic path, and it could have accelerated us much further. You’re right. At the end of the day, I’ve been living my life. That path is not always just to build a rocket ship.

Sramana Mitra: Yes. This is why we’re doing One Million by One Million so that people like you who have had a balanced life can build a sustainable company and do not have to apologize. There’s something wrong with the society where people who are running $5 million companies are apologizing for what they’ve done.

Janine Yancey: You’re absolutely right. Especially in Silicon Valley, it’s like Hollywood.

Sramana Mitra: Silicon Valley is full of bullshit. Do me a favor and stop apologizing.

Janine Yancey: Thank you.

Sramana Mitra: I want to switch the line of questioning to your core expertise. It’s so important right now – sexual harassment issues. How do you parse what’s happening in the world right now? If you’re building courses in the current environment to deal with all of the top of my mind issues, what are you telling your employer clients to do?

Janine Yancey: We are definitely taking it pretty strong. I’ve been watching this issue for a very long time. On our team is a woman by the name of Patti Perez who just joined us at the end of last year. She’s our VP of Workplace Strategy. She authored the harassment training regulation for California.

She and I are kindred spirits in that we have been looking at these issues in a similar way. What that translates into is you have to be authentic. We’re suffering from two decades of employers not being authentic. I think that’s one of the dynamics that have caused this bubbling up of pure frustration from women in particular.

Sramana Mitra: What do you mean by not being authentic? What are the actionable changes that you recommend?

Janine Yancey: Let me answer that by describing what they’ve been doing that we don’t think is authentic and move towards what they should be doing. What has been in place for the last couple of decades is this pro form system – a complaint investigation procedure that no one ever looks at.

Then for the training, some of the employers want to make it at least engaging. Even when that, none of the employees ever really want to educate people. We’ve had so many conversations with employers and clients who say, “We don’t want to teach people how to sue us.” Patti and I always say, “You have to educate people. You have to give them the power of knowledge.”

This segment is part 4 in the series : A Conversation About Sexual Harassment with Janine Yancey, CEO of Emtrain
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