New Start-up Uses Technology to Create a System that Significantly Reduces the Risk of Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence
WPV Corp. Software and Services Create Independent 3rd Party Ombudsman
WPV Corp. has completed development of a software application that is designed to significantly reduce the risk of sexual harassment, harassment and workplace violence. Three years in development, the software combines an incident reporting system with a validated risk assessment. The aim is to help identify and respond to workplace violence in real time.
“We built a system based on our 3-pillar approach to preventing workplace violence issues such as sexual harassment. Our three pillars are:
• Reaction; and
As part of the Prevention Pillar, the software contains a validated risk assessment instrument. The instrument identifies potential danger areas for workplace violence/harassment/sexual harassment. “Every large organization is made up of smaller divisions and teams.” states WPV CEO Michael Rosenberg. “The software is able to use the risk assessment to identify risks in each team, department and division effectively. You can identify what specific area you need to target.” Also as part of the prevention stage, training and educational resources are provided. The focus is to help people both understand what harassment is and how to deal with it.
The Reaction Pillar features a customizable incident reporting system. The incident reporting software is accessible via smartphones or computers. The incident reporting system is designed to differentiate frivolous complaints from legitimate ones. It also identifies the risk level of the complaint.
All incident reports, survey responses and data are held on WPV’s secure servers. “The organization cannot keep the software on their systems. They have no access to our servers at all.” commented WPV Security V.P. Rudy Passarella. “This helps ensure that people can freely report incidences of harassment without the fear of retaliation. The full incident report is only sent to an investigator acceptable to both the organization and the complainant. If no acceptable investigator has been identified, WPV can act as an independent 3rd party to handle or investigate the report. The organization only receives a computer-generated number indicating that a report has been submitted.”
The Enforcement Pillar utilizes a trained workplace violence investigator. “All incidents received are investigated.” explains WPV CIO Jim Baker. “If an incident cannot be mediated, WPV conducts a full investigation of the incident. Our investigations include a detailed report that lists the overall findings. The report also makes recommendations to both resolve the incident and ensure steps are taken to prevent it from recurring.”
No matter how thorough an organization’s internal processes may be, they cannot solve the issue of harassment and sexual harassment. “The people most likely to commit harassment and sexual harassment are usually very senior.” states Rosenberg. “You really do not hear about the janitor harassing the CEO. It is about power. Having an independent 3rd party system in place evens the playing field. We do not sell any other services or hold contracts with the organization. We do not have additional legal contracts or consulting contracts other than helping address workplace violence issues. That way we can be truly independent and trusted by all sides. In a sense, we even the playing field. We believe that this is truly the answer to help organizations that really want to solve the problem of sexual harassment, harassment and workplace violence.”