Non-profits

Advocating for a More Equitable Workplace

By Giving List Women   |   May 20, 2024

Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky never imagined their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace would launch a wave of change for women throughout the world. 

But in 2022, they helped spearhead two of the biggest labor law changes in the last 100 years: the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act and the Speak Out Act. They also helped pass the Silenced No More Act in Washington State the same year, which limited the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and related provisions in employment agreements. The two women leaders are laser focused on ending silencing mechanisms in the workplace that have aided in covering up bad behavior at work for decades – a movement they are building for all employees across the globe by way of the organization they co-founded, Lift Our Voices.

“Right away, when Microsoft got rid of those NDAs not just for Washington State employees, which they had to do by law, but for their employees across the nation, we knew this was real structural change that would last for generations to come,” says Roginsky.

Roginsky’s words emphasize the strong impact legislative action can have when it is birthed out of real-life experience. Roginsky and Carlson’s personal experiences of harassment and retaliation at Fox News garnered international attention and helped to ignite the #MeToo movement. Carlson shares, “It’s interesting how one’s horrible life experience can turn into positive outcomes. I would have never predicted how we are changing workplaces and the lives of millions of people in the aftermath of all that.” 

Working With Dignity

Lift Our Voices is dedicated to transforming the American workplace by making it safer and more equitable for everyone. They organize communities to change laws and policies, advocate for survivors, and promote awareness for a safer and more inclusive workplace environment. The team is taking aim to restrict or regulate the use of forced arbitration and NDAs for all toxic workplace issues, including all forms of discrimination and retaliation. “This work is so important,” says Roginsky. 

“When I served as a consultant for New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s campaign, a young woman came to me and told me that she was raped by a senior aide to the governor. She tried everything she could to have the governor and first lady pay attention to her story but despite her pleas, they ignored her. Because I had signed an NDA upon joining his campaign, I, too, could not give her any information that might be helpful to her mentally, to her well-being, to her healing…That was truly one of the darkest days of my professional career.”

A Lasting Voice

This ‘silencing’ is what Lift Our Voices hopes to eradicate law by law, initiative by initiative. With 54 to 81% of women still reporting sexual harassment at work as a key factor impacting their livelihoods and mental health, both legal action and support services are very much needed. 

 “There is power in people investing in us and this work. We are changing the infrastructure bit by bit, every day. We are an organization that has a track record of getting stuff done,” says Carlson. 

 
 

Lift Our Voices

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LiftOurVoices.org
(206) 420-2518
Co-Founders: Gretchen Carlson & Julie Roginsky

Mission

The mission of Lift Our Voices is simple – to change toxic workplace cultures. Discrimination, harassment, and hostile work environments are pushing the best workers out of their career trajectories. We also know that forced arbitration and NDAs work to silence survivors and protect perpetrators.

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