In a staff meeting Friday, Vice Media officials told employees that they would be forming an all-woman advisory council. The announcement comes as the company navigates allegations of sexual misconduct and broader issues of workplace culture, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to TheWrap.
One of the people Vice has recruited for the effort is feminist icon and founder of the Women’s Media Center, Gloria Steinem. In addition to Steinem the council will also include, layer Roberta Kaplan and Vice COO Alyssa Mastromonaco.
The individual said the advisory board was not connected to any current troubles at Vice and had been in the works for some time.
In addition the meeting also revealed a new plan to achieve gender pay parity by 2018 and the establishment of a new hotline to allow Vice employees to report harassment and other workplace violations anonymously.
Earlier today, the company suspended Jason Mojica, a former editor in chief and current executive producer at Vice Documentary Films. A person familiar with the matter said that Mojica was suspended pending the outcome into an investigation of sexual misconduct between two former employees, first documented by the Daily Beast earlier this week.
The article said described an allegation of sexual harassment against former L.A. bureau chief Kaj Larsen, by another former employee, Phoebe Barghouty. Though the article made no specific charges against Mojica, the piece suggested that he had facilitated a destructive workplace culture that allowed harassment to persist. Another former employee mentioned in the piece said he should have been fired for his management long ago, but instead had been shuffled around the company.
A vice spokesperson promised swift remediation after the allegation came to light.
“We do not tolerate harassment, abusive behavior, assault or retaliation, and we will discipline anyone who engages in such conduct through a range of actions, including termination, as appropriate,” a Vice spokesperson told TheWrap. “We have immediately begun an investigation into this matter.”