Why Sexual Harassment Matters to Investors

It poses legal, financial, and reputational risks that investors are increasingly focusing on.


U.S. investors overseeing around $10 trillion in assets now incorporate nonfinancial factors such as environmental, social and governance metrics in their decision making. For both corporate boards and investors, thinking about issues like child labor or climate change has become mainstream.


Yet thinking about sexual harassment has lagged behind. An October study by theBoardlist and Qualtrics found that 77% of boards hadn’t talked about sexual harassment, 88% hadn’t implemented a plan of action as a result of recent revelations and 83% hadn’t evaluated the company’s risks when it came to sexual harassment.

Their most commonly cited reason for inaction? A perception that sexual harassment wasn’t a problem at the company.

.. Then there is the loss of valuable assets. Mr. O’Reilly at Fox, Kevin Spacey at Netflix, and Matt Lauer at Comcast’s NBC were central to their companies’ success.

.. Advertisers, attuned to the new landscape, are paying close attention. “That helps explain why NBC pulled the plug so quickly,” on Mr. Lauer, says Jon Hale of Morningstar. “They don’t want to take the reputational hit of a long, drawn-out process that could cost them viewers and ad revenue.”

.. sexual harassment can be a slow, costly drain. A 2007 study found that it has a negative effect on employee recruitment and retention, increases sick leave costs, and lowers productivity. Lost talent and ideas are more difficult to quantify. But research shows that gender-diverse companies deliver higher returns on capital and lower volatility.


John Bolton: Inexplicable to Say Iran in Compliance with Nuclear Agreement

He proceeded to criticize Trump administration officials, like National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, for protecting the Iran nuclear deal despite Iran’s clear violations of the agreement.

“Whatever capability North Korea has, Iran will have the next day,” Bolton told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

In Bolton’s estimation, “to be successful, the Trump administration has got to get control over the entire federal bureaucracy, particularly in the national security arena.”

“Too often, I think we’ve seen the bureaucracy still on autopilot from January the 19 of this year,” he said. “The decision a couple of weeks ago for the second time to certify that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal is just inexplicable.”

 .. “Now, the president said yesterday he doesn’t think they’re in compliance. So he needs to grasp the bureaucracy by its coat lapels and say, ‘Listen to what I’m telling you. We need to get out of this deal.’ If he doesn’t do that, not only will the policy not change, eventually, it will come back to bite him,” Bolton warned.
.. Bolton replied. “Every bureaucracy in Washington has its own culture. Some of them, like the State Department, have several sub-cultures. The overwhelming political perspective of the career employees of the State Department is liberal Democrat. It affects their policy in virtually every aspect.”
.. “What you need at the State Department is not a reorganization. You need a cultural revolution,” he contended.