A chat app where South Koreans can anonymously dish the dirt on their misbehaving bosses and colleagues is belatedly stirring the country’s #MeToo movement, shedding new light on sexual harassment in the heavily male-dominated corporate culture.
#MeToo movement for Sexual Harassment?
Prompted by a recent wave of complaints about workplace misconduct — including a groping allegation made by a South Korean public prosecutor last month — the app Blind has added a new feature: a message board dedicated to a rising number of #MeToo stories.
”We thought the prosecutor going public would put fresh momentum in the #MeToo movement in South Korea and our #MeToo board was definitely inspired by her action,” Kim Sungkyum — the co-founder at Blind’s creator TeamBlind — said.
Koreans are wary of being whistleblowers about harassment at family-run conglomerates or chaebol that dominate South Korean business.
Their big fear: the companies will turn on them for rocking the boat and they will be victimized again.
Some 61 percent of South Korean respondents working at private companies said they would bypass in-house whistleblower hotlines, saying they didn’t trust their organization to keep complaints confidential, according to a survey by consulting firm EY. That was significantly higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 37 percent.