Eliminating Language that Silences Workers’ Voices

Initiative Lift Our Voices
Grantee Partner Lift Our Voices

Gender equality in the workplace cannot be addressed until we eradicate the widespread culture of silencing that prevents American workers from speaking up about gender discrimination, sexual harassment, misogyny, and other unacceptable behavior. Lift Our Voices works to eliminate language in nondisclosure agreements and mandatory arbitration clauses that silences workers’ voices.

Today, 60 million Americans are forced to address these issues through secret arbitration and over one-third of the U.S. workforce is bound by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Simply put, too many of us are forced to keep quiet if we want to keep our jobs.

In recent decades, arbitration clauses and NDAs — once intended only to protect trade secrets — have been weaponized to silence American workers from speaking out about workplace toxicity. While these silencing mechanisms disproportionately affect women and people of color, they come at great cost to the entire economy, reducing productivity, robbing companies of talent, and driving millions out of the workforce.

When workers are silenced, inequality thrives. Issues like pay parity will never be addressed if workers are prevented from honestly discussing their circumstances in the workplace. Gender equality will only thrive if employees can have honest discussions, without fear of silencing or retaliation.

This is why Lift Our Voices was founded in 2019– to give voice to those whom these policies render voiceless. Spearheaded by Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky, Lift Our Voices creates positive change for workers and finds solutions to address parity and equality issues for women and men, including abuse of power and harassment. Empowering the public with knowledge on sexual harassment, abuse of power, and other unhealthy workplace behaviors and practices can effect change. These efforts are gaining momentum on the heels of successful legislation addressing these significant issues. Lift Our Voices believes in transforming the American workplace into one where everyone can simply work with dignity.