I have many thoughts on this particular story, where it seems that issues of harassment at the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, are coming to a head. Firstly, it’s important to note that it’s not just females who get harassed sexually in the workplace. Essentially, a male employee was repeatedly sexually propositioned and harassed by a male supervisor, and was discouraged to report this by both the culture of Bridgewater and its internal reporting systems. Not only are all confrontations at this company video-recorded for circulation amongst managers and executives, but the entire culture of the fund is built around aggressively questioning employees about their new ideas on the spot, a policy they call “radical transparency.” The thought is to allow great ideas to rise to the top based solely on merit, but it sounds like a recipe for workplace bullying. This particular case of sexual harassment shows that this culture kept the harassed employee from getting the help and recognition he needed; additionally, after filing claims with several labor and human rights organizations, it seems like the employee was forced to settle due to the confidentiality agreements all Bridgewater employees have to sign. Everything about this story, and this organization, seems suspect – how can an organization support so-called “radical transparency,” without allowing people to come forward about workplace bullying and sexual harassment? You can read more about the alleged harassment at The New York Times.
Main Image: Ray Dalio, the founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates. Image by David A. Grogan for CNBC/Getty Images, via The Hive.