We’re aware of the negative press attention surrounding the Report + Support platform recently launched at University of Cambridge, which has come about specifically as a result of a small number of Academic staff disagreeing with the micro-aggression support article content on the platform. This criticism has also turned to Culture Shift and questioned whether our platform exists to stifle free speech.
The Report + Support software is first and foremost a reporting system, allowing users to report any instance of bullying or harassment, and access further support to help them continue their education. The system can be personalised, allowing our clients to create, edit and manage support article content themselves through a CMS. To support with this, we do provide some templates they can build on, however we do not currently provide any content specifically around micro-aggressions or defining racism.
We are working towards expanding our offering in this area, to provide partners with access to expertly written articles on a range of topics which will benefit reporting and reported parties alike.
Our mission is to break down barriers to reporting bullying and harassment within institutions, not to infringe anybody’s right to freedom of speech. It is unfortunate that it has been covered in this way, when the University of Cambridge have taken what we believe is the wholly positive step of partnering with us to provide anonymous reporting across it's campuses and further enhance the speak up culture at the institution.
Anonymous reporting is a vitally important step for the many survivors who don't feel confident enough to attach their name to a report through fear of repercussions or not being believed.
Report + Support’s primary objective is to ensure all survivors feel supported, which can help play a pivotal role in reducing the impact of such instances on the rest of their lives. The platform is there for staff and students to report the countless very real incidents they experience each year, none of which are trivial, and we know it has the power to save lives.
Almost 60% of female students say they have been sexually assaulted at university* and one in 20 students admit they have left their course because of racism, while two thirds who said they had experienced racial harassment did not report it to their university**. The issue is rife and we’re working to change that so our educational institutions are safe environments for everyone.
Tackling problematic behaviour and improving organisational culture is something that is incredibly close to my heart, having experienced incidents first hand. Facing maternity discrimination on two separate occasions really motivated me to want to improve organisational culture and ensure that others don’t have to bear the brunt of unacceptable behaviour. In addition, various members of our team are survivors of bullying and harassment, which helps us to ensure our approach to tackling problematic behaviour within organisations always remains survivor-centric.
Culture Shift are a socially conscious business which exists to create positive change for people all over the world. We measure our success in the number of people we can reach (now over 1 million people have access to our reporting system should they need it) and by creating a sustainable business for our team to work and thrive.