Today’s episode is with Sarah Beaulieu. Sarah is a nationally-sought after speaker and author who trains workplaces and advises leaders on skills-based sexual harassment prevention and response. Her work and expertise has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Fox News, AskMen.com, and the Huffington post, to name a few. She’s been a featured speaker at TEDxBeacon Street and the Business Innovation Factory Summit. She has trained a wide variety of organizations ranging from start-ups to large corporations to fraternities to members of the Junior League.
Sarah graduated from Brown University, majoring in women’s studies and religious studies and then went on to receive an M.B.A. at Boston College. She served for five years on the board of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, one of the nation’s oldest rape crisis centers, where she started as a medical advocate and survivor speaker.
In 2013, Beaulieu founded The Enliven Project, a campaign to generate a culture change in sexual violence and lift survivors to their full potential. The graphic she created and released through The Enliven Project called “Truth About False Accusation,” generated international discussion and debate, and has been re-blogged over 800,000 times.
In 2017, Sarah founded The Uncomfortable Conversation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to normalizing conversations about sexual violence, especially for young men. The Uncomfortable Conversation has produced over 100 YouTube videos illustrating how men can support survivors, navigate consent, and address troubling ideas or behaviors among peers.
Sarah’s book, which will be released early next year, called Breaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace, offers employees and managers a path forward to learn and teach the skills required for safe and respectful workplaces for people of all genders.
In this conversation, Sarah and I discuss these practical steps for creating the ideal workplace environment. She shared with me a bit about the journey that has shaped her passion for generating this change. We discussed her perspective on “false accusations,” and why sexual assault training doesn’t work for many organizations. We take a stab at addressing the true root causes of sexual violence and mistreatment in our discussion about power and privilege. We talked about the difference between “skills and rules” and why that’s so important to delineate. We also chat a bit about our experiences at our CrossFit gym, which is where Sarah and I originally met. I learned so, so much from this conversation and I have no doubt, regardless of the experiences and knowledge you may or may not have on this subject, you will learn something valuable as well. To learn more about Sarah’s work or consulting, you can find her at sarahbeaulieu.me and you can pre-order her book on amazon, which will be released in February.
If you’re a survivor and need to take action, Sarah has referenced the National sexual assault hotline 1-800-656-4673 or rainn.org as a resource that may be a helpful next step.