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Harvard Business Review: Intimate Partner Violence Is a Workplace Issue

Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.


Harvard Business Review: Intimate Partner Violence Is a Workplace Issue

Read Intimate Partner Violence Is a Workplace Issue by Beth A. Livingston, Louise Delavier, and Ynaée Benaben, Harvard Business Review, February 24, 2021.

Regardless of your industry or role within your organization, would you know what to do if you believed or knew one of your colleagues or clients was a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV)? Do you know what protections your company offers for victims or how to report it to a manager or leader? What would you say or do first upon discovery?

These are tough questions to answer, but research says that we should know all how to respond. Recently, En avant toute(s) and Yves Saint Laurent Beauty (YSL) in Paris conducted a research study that showed the following results:


Work is often the only space where victims are free to seek help, and coworkers may be their only ally.

  • In many cases, IPV relies on social isolation from friends and family, leaving coworkers as some of the only outside contacts a target of abuse might have.

Work (and the financial freedom it often provides) is often a target of abuse.

  • Abusers often know that work is an outlet for the targets of their abuse. This case also demonstrated the difficulties that occur when IPV happens among coworkers. These effects can spill over to negatively affect more than just the victim — causing rifts in teams, increasing anxiety among those who know what is going on, and leaving managers feeling helpless.

It may be difficult to avoid an abuser who is part of your professional network.

  • Nevertheless, Lucie and her colleague are experiencing anxiety about the probability that they will run into the abuser at a conference, on a job site, or be asked to contact him for a project. The growth of project-based work surely makes these complex contacts more likely.

What Can Organizations Do?

Based on their results, the study authors suggested the following actions from the organizational level.

Empower employees to support each other — formally and informally.

First, leaders should promote citizenship behaviors, where coworkers help one another in non-mandatory ways, like covering for someone if they have to miss work or helping a coworker with difficult tasks even if they aren’t required to. Research shows this creates reciprocated, helpful, and supportive work climates.

However, companies could also integrate learning from bystander intervention work to train coworkers to step in.

Training employees to notice signs of abuse in their colleagues and how to (safely) intervene when they are concerned can give them the self-efficacy and confidence to help their coworkers, or even themselves.

Make telling a manager a safe thing to do.

Creating psychological safety – defined as a team environment that supports interpersonal risk taking and encourages employees to speak up — is crucial: If you feel there is less of a chance that you will be retaliated against or judged for your personal situation, you will be more likely to ask for help.

Watch for changes in your employees and check your assumptions.

When it comes to IPV, be vigilant while watching for changes in your employees’ performance and reachability — and do not always attribute this to incompetence or poor fit. You can also ask their coworkers for feedback in ways that signal that you are not making assumptions about performance when external causes might be more accurate. For instance, you might ask if they are aware of any mitigating circumstances that might be affected their coworker’s performance. This can communicate that you are open to alternative explanations for changes in performance.

Role model healthy relationships.

Organizations can play an important role in modeling what healthy relationships look like. At work, this could include providing assistance on tasks and with careers.

Continue reading Intimate Partner Violence Is a Workplace Issue by Beth A. Livingston, Louise Delavier, and Ynaée Benaben, Harvard Business Review, February 24, 2021.


Inside Higher Ed: Do Students Feel Heard on Campus?

Read Do Students Feel Heard on Campus? by Melissa Ezarik, from Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2021.

Other than the most vocal students, tapped over and over again, do you know what your students believe or feel? What voices are largely unheard? And when heard, how often are their voices taken into consideration? Below are the results of a recent study – done during COVID-19 restrictions and the pivot to at-home learning.

“[T]he inaugural Student Voice survey of 2,000 undergraduates from 114 two- and four-year colleges and universities. Student Voice, a project conducted by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse and presented by Kaplan, explores higher education from the student perspective, providing insights for college and university administrators and instructors.”

  • Just 21 percent of respondents say they have spoken up about a campus issue that was important to them — with many saying they did not anticipate officials would act on the concern.
  • More than two-thirds of students either strongly (28 percent) or somewhat (39 percent) agree that they feel comfortable sharing opinions in their classes. That’s more true for liberal students than for right-leaning ones, with 74 percent of those identifying as “strong Democrats” and 53 percent of “strong Republicans” agreeing. Differences by race are minimal, with Black and white students at 65 and 66 percent, respectively, and Asian (73 percent) and Hispanic/Latino students (74 percent) moderately more comfortable.
  • More than half (52 percent) of students feel it’s extremely or somewhat likely that a professor would resolve a concern to their satisfaction, compared to 34 percent who say the same about administrators. International students have the most faith in professors resolving concerns, with 64 percent believing it’s extremely or somewhat likely.

The results shared were rich, varied and complex – I recommend reading the entire article on Inside Higher Ed.

Continue reading Do Students Feel Heard on Campus? by Melissa Ezarik, from Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2021.


Student Affairs Now: Student Affairs Post-COVID: Restoring, Evolving, and Transforming Higher Education

Listen to Student Affairs Post-COVID: Restoring, Evolving, and Transforming Higher Education by Student Affairs Now Podcast, February 17, 2021.

Host Keith Edwards and panelists Drs. T.J. Logan, Luoluo Hong, and Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher discuss what about higher education should get restored to what used to be, what should evolve and improve, and what should completely be transformed.

This was a wonderful trio of experts. I do, however, wish they had someone who worked in community colleges. Traditional four-year, flagship institutions, and private universities are not the only places that can and should reimagine the future of student affairs.

For those uninterested in listening to the podcast, you can read the transcript online. However, the attributions were not always correct, so if you want to know who said what, you may need to listen carefully.

Virtual Engagement Beyond the Pandemic Student Affairs NOW

Dr. Keith Edwards discusses lessons learned over the past year and beyond on how to effectively engage students virtually. Rob Buelow, Dr. David Hibbler, and Alyssa Teubner share recommendations for those considering where and how to continue virtual student engagement beyond COVID-19.
  1. Virtual Engagement Beyond the Pandemic
  2. Assessing Student Learning
  3. Sustainability

Listen to Student Affairs Post-COVID: Restoring, Evolving, and Transforming Higher Education by Student Affairs Now Podcast, February 17, 2021.


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Joseph Rios, EdD
leadershipandvaluesinaction@gmail.com
I am Joseph Rios and I believe that leadership is an expression of our values
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