#MeToo was a landmark moment in recent history, because it represented a significant turning point in our relationships with our workmates, institutions and in many respects, our own personal narratives. It was a moment of profoundly authentic communication, on a global scale, which has sparked a shift in the way we think about diversity and inclusion as business performance enhancements.
#MeToo Addressed the Erosion of Public Trust
In many respects, you could draw a direct connection, a line of declining public trust from the financial crisis of 2008 right the way through to the 2017 #MeToo scandal. The public outing of abusive Hollywood figures?—?prompted by Alyssa Milano encouraging victims of sexual harassment to begin tweeting about the pervasiveness of the abuse she had encountered in her own career?—?was just the tip of the iceberg.
The term was originally coined by community organiser Tarana Burke in 2006, to build activism around the issue of workplace sexual harassment, however, it took the confluence of Twitter and big-name celebrities to really drive the issue into the mainstream media, and social media, spotlight. This was an interesting development, because previously, a great deal of sexual harassment and bullying was conducted within the mainstream media and via social media.
Hollywood’s infamous casting couch was publicly exposed and rejected at C-suite, sponsor, advertiser and shareholder levels. Similarly, social media and digital culture was about to undergo policy shifts on all major platforms, to limit anonymous abuse.