Bravely, a new startup is set to serve as an ombudsman for employees that have been victims of sexual harassment by listening to their issues and provide guidance. The New York City-based startup was launched in June.
According to CNN Tech, Bravely’s intention is to be a neutral third-party for employees.”We don’t give advice,” said co-founder Toby Hervey. “We help employees assess their options and structure their thoughts. We’re not your HR person you might run into.”
— Bravely (@workbravely) October 5, 2017
Bravely works by matching employees with its network of vetted coaches or HR professionals for a 45-minute off-the-record phone conversation. The discussions may range from how to deliver feedback to direct reports to how to talk to a manager for a raise. They may also include sexual harassment or discrimination issues, which has been a very frequent discussion in the global tech space right now.
It pairs employees with its HR staffers after filtering for the type of issue, seniority of the employee, and more. For example, issues related to sexual harassment and discrimination go to a specialized group of Bravely contractors, who keep the company’s policies on-hand to help break them down for employees.
According to the report, Bravely has raised $1.5 million in funding to get the business off the ground. It declined to name its current partners but said most of its investors are startups with 50 to 500 employees.
— Bravely (@workbravely) August 14, 2017
Since its launch Bravely has managed “hundreds” of calls from workers. According to Hervey, the vast majority of inquiries have come from women, people of colour, and LGBTQ workers. About a quarter of calls have dealt with managers preparing for conversations with their direct reports.
Recall that there has been a suggestion by some women for an ombudsman. Perhaps, this is an answer to that prayer. We look forward to this startup scaling to be a global help-mate.
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