As a rash of sexual harassment allegations have broken out against powerful men in a slew of different industries, digital media upstart Vice has formed a female advisory committee to help improve its workplace culture.
Vice unveiled its efforts this morning on the heels of a Daily Beast report published Wednesday chronicling allegations by former associate producer Phoebe Barghouty of inappropriate conduct by two of her male bosses. In addition to noting that Vice’s human resources department did not sufficiently handle Barghouty’s claims, The Daily Beast also points out a questionable agreement that Vice employees must sign, stating that they won’t be offended by sexually provocative or explicit content — which could theoretically encourage inappropriate behavior.
Jason Mojica, who most recently served as Vice’s documentary film unit head, was suspended today as part of an investigation into Barghouty’s allegations, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (The other accused executive, Kaj Larsen, has already left the company — as has Barghouty).
Vice’s newly-formed committee, whose aim is to prevent such incidents going forward, and also promote to inclusivity, will be chaired by noted attorney Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued against the Defense Of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court, according to the Reporter. Other members of the illustrious committee include: top A+E exec and former Barack Obama staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco, Gloria Steinem, former Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen, former Hillary Clinton senior policy advisor Maya Harris, Vice‘s global chief human resources officer Susan Tohyama, Broadly publisher Ariel Wengroff, and Vice’s CFO Sarah Broderick — who also just added COO to her title.
In addition to new policies and procedures instituted by the committee, Vice also plans to institute pay parity for all employees by the end of next year, and establish a hotline that will allow any employees to report sexual harassment anonymously, the Reporter reports.