With the Away story serving as a sort of Rorschach test indicating how tolerant individuals are of corporate misbehavior, it’s fair to assume that 2020 will yield an increase in such investigative reporting. The bringing to light of unfair working conditions, HR practices, and executive abuse is not only necessary journalism, but a major traffic conductor. In anticipation of further media attention on workplace culture, the story has shaken up executive attitudes, causing many to reevaluate their own policies and behavior, hold themselves to higher standards, and tend to skeletons in their closet.
Because while c-suites have gotten away with deviant behavior for years, the Away saga has proven the power of media and social networks to generate enough of a groundswell to lead to actual change. Whether Haselden’s appointment will result in a transformative culture remains to be seen, but it’s certainly shown that business media mainstays like Away are not as impervious as once thought. It has also empowered workers by demonstrating that if elements of your work culture are toxic, you can speak up or share that information with a reporter, who might catalyze a national conversation around the issue.