Many people are shocked after NBC fired longtime anchor Matt Lauer after allegations of sexual behavior in the workplace.
Social media was taken by storm when the news released on Wednesday morning, and Austin HR said it’s been the main topic of conversation in their office.
“Right now, it's just going to be a lot of shock factor going on,” said Laurie Howell, a cofounder of Austin HR.
David Hughen, another cofounder of Austin HR, called it a “watershed moment.”
“We’ll be able to reference this type of moment for years to come,” Hughen said of the recent allegations. “And it will be more impactful than a dry policy being handed over to someone as they join a company.”
Howell explained it’s not uncommon to see similar situations, just not on a national scale.
“I think it was accepted for a long time,” she said. “People from my generation, especially women, but it's not just women always, got used to it and expected that that's just what took place.”
Both Howell and Hughen said they hope this sparks change.
“Can we just move forward getting the day-to-day business done without having to worry about someone looking at you the wrong way, or making crude comments, or having expectations, or hiring the pretty female to do your sales calls for you because you're going to get more sales,” Hughen questioned. “I think we're going move into a movement of hire the best, retain the best, and that will become normal.”
They said the allegations also give people a chance to reflect on their own behavior and give people an opportunity to stand up for themselves and others.
“Because if they are speaking up, odds are it may not be just them that was the person that was being in that harassing situation,” Howell explained.