Why I’m Matching Donations to Empower Work
In April 2018, I founded Tall Poppy, a company focused on fighting online harassment by working with employers to protect employees. Since then, I’ve worked to understand the web of organizations whose missions touch the work we do. One of the most exciting organizations I’ve gotten to know in the field: Empower Work.
When I met Empower Work founder Jaime-Alexis this spring, I wasn’t surprised by her research. Across over 200+ survey responses and more than 200 in-depth interviews, data confirmed that while workplace challenges were nearly universal—and extremely difficult—accessible resources to navigate them don’t exist. (Check out some of her research to delve into the backstory.)
Empower Work is a creative new approach to providing support at critical work moments. Anyone in the U.S. can connect with a trained peer counselor via text or web chat. When you’re questioning what you may be facing (is this normal in a workplace?), how you might want to handle it, and whether there might be other resources, Empower Work is there.
They’ve moved from research to pilot to supporting people across 42 states in under a year - pretty amazing. Their service intentionally has no barrier to entry—cost or otherwise. When you’re worried you may be fired in 15 min, or you’ve just been bullied in a meeting and aren’t sure where to turn, or you need to make a decision about an offer by end of day, they’re there.
They partner with professional and affinity groups across the country to provide support in particular for less-resourced or less-represented communities - from Year Up to Tech Ladies. Their work has been featured in TechCrunch, Quartz, Fast Company and more. We must change how we support people in workplaces, and it’s great to see them get recognition that this is the case.
I believe in their mission and their work, which is why I’m personally matching all donations between now and December 21st, up to $2,000. They’ve got a big goal to raise $25,000 by December 31st. I hope you’ll chip in what you can to help them scale up to serve tens of thousands of working people in 2019.
Leigh Honeywell has made an entire career out of putting out fires involving computers. Leigh is the founder and CEO of Tall Poppy, where she helps companies protect their employees from online harassment. She was previously a Technology Fellow at the ACLU, and also worked at Slack, Salesforce, and Microsoft. You can read more of her writing (and this piece!) on her blog: hypatia.ca.