Everyone deserves a great employee experience

Beth Whitehead, Chief Administrative Officer and Executive VP, American Savings Bank, shares with Safe Spaces & Workplaces why she is keenly aware of her organization's kuleana to provide safe spaces for employees.

Beth Whitehead

I believe that everyone deserves a great employee experience, which is predicated on feeling safe and respected in the workplace. So, at American Saving Bank (ASB), we work hard to create a workplace culture where everyone feels respected and safe. A place that puts what’s right in the forefront of everything we do. There is no place for sexual harassment in the workplace or anywhere, and we are committed to doing what we can to put an end to it in Hawai’i.

The Safe Spaces & Workplaces survey shows that 52% of Hawai’i working women have been sexually harassed in the workplace. At ASB, 72% of our teammates are women – so we are keenly aware of our kuleana to provide safe spaces for all of our teammates. We also know that sexual harassment is not just a women’s issue. Men can experience it as well–it’s just not as common. This affects all of us, so we must all work together to make sexual harassment unacceptable everywhere.

We strive to create a safe workplace through various programs, including required annual scenario-based training that focuses on what respect means to different people and how to make sure everyone is being respected. We also take reports seriously and investigate all complaints whether reported in person or anonymously. We provide access to counseling support and try to ensure that all teammates know the expectations of the high ethical standards we require. Through our Code of Conduct, we make it clear that we will not tolerate sexual harassment, workplace violence and other forms of intimidation. We also are committed to protecting future victims by making it clear that if we have terminated someone for violating our code (after a fair and impartial investigation), we will disclose such violations to future employers. In doing so, we hope to send a clear message of zero tolerance and reduce the opportunity for perpetrators to repeat such behavior at their next job.

The fact that sexual harassment is now being openly discussed and addressed through practices and policies in the workplace all over the U.S. brings me hope that we can finally put an end to this unacceptable behavior. I am also encouraged to see Safe Spaces & Workplaces taking the lead by providing data as well as tools and resources for employers so we can achieve real change. We are proud to participate in Safe Spaces & Workplaces, and encourage our partners in Hawai’i’s business community to join us in this vital movement.

To learn more about the bold steps American Savings Bank is taking to create safe spaces for their employees, view Hawaii Business Magazine's article.

Our Story

The Safe Spaces & Workplaces initiative was born out of lived experience and need. Although the origin can be traced to the experiences of two Hawai‘i women and their desire to be a part of creating a better future for our community, it is shared story among many individuals.

Find out more about personal stories of Rachael Wong and Karen Tan.

Read Our Story