On “It’s Time to Talk Day,” the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Liz Claiborne Inc., and Safe Horizon unveiled key findings from two new parallel research studies entitled “Corporate Leaders and America’s Workforce on Domestic Violence,” as part of a CEO Roundtable and Media Briefing. The first measures business leaders' attitudes toward domestic violence, benchmarking the results against those of prior studies conducted by Liz Claiborne in 1994 and 2002. The second survey benchmarks the Corporate Alliance 2005 survey of employee attitudes toward the issue. A complete executive summary is available, but a few key findings include:
1) Increasing numbers of CEO's realize domestic violence impacts the bottom line, but differ significantly with employees on the business role in addressing domestic violence
CEO's underestimate numbers of victims in their own companies: on average, CEO's believe only 6% of their full time employees are victims; this is in sharp contrast to reality --
2) More than 1 in 4 women (26%) in the workplace admit to being a victim and 1 in 4 (24%) know a coworker who is a victim.
3) 90% of employees think companies representatives should be trained in recognizing the warning signs of domestic violence
What does this mean? Clearly employees see domestic violence impacting the workplace 'on the ground' and CEOs are in a different position. It is clear that employees want and need the kind of training offered by SafeWork -- a program launched by Safe Horizon in partnership with the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. For an overview of the new surveys, click here on the CAEPV website.
I think that it is not that top executives don't care -- they just don't SEE it the way that managers and co-workers do on a day to day basis. And CEOs also said overwhelmingly that if their employees asked them for these kinds of programs, they would implement them.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the information in these two surveys starts to be more widely disseminated.