Wednesday, March 21, 2018



1871 Partners With Leading Women’s Organization to Create Safe and Healthy Workplaces With Sexual Harassment Training, Education, and Awareness; Program Will Require Annual Mandatory Training of all Members; Will Offer Six Public Facing Events; Will Establish Anonymous Hotline.

PRESS RELEASE | Chicago, IL |  March 21, 2018

Yun Tai, Communications Associate
(910) 391-9496

CHICAGO (March 21, 2017) -- 1871 joined YWCA Metropolitan Chicago on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative that will expand efforts to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace throughout Chicago. The partnership affirms 1871’s commitment to its values of diversity and inclusion along with its mission to support and empower Chicago’s entrepreneurs and business leaders of all backgrounds.  
As a result of this partnership, 1871 has added a section to its Member Code of Conduct requiring all of its members to take a sexual harassment training course at least once a year. 1871 will also host one optional YWCA-led training course on sexual harassment each month as a benefit for its members; courses will cover preventative education topics to help members better recognize and prevent abusive behaviors.
“As the number one incubator in the world, we have an obligation to lead the way when it comes to gender equality in the workplace,” said 1871 COO Tom Alexander. “This partnership withYWCA Metropolitan Chicago ensures that we’re expecting our members to observe and implement the highest standards in terms of diversity and inclusion, and also helps further the discussion on significant gender issues in today’s workforce.”
In addition to its training courses, the YWCA will host six public events at 1871 throughout the year to educate and equip the 1871 community with strategies and best practices to identify, prevent, and report sexual harassment in the workplace. The first event will take place in April to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The partnership will also provide access to a YWCA hotline for all of 1871’s members, tenants, partners, and staff. The hotline will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will provide support and crisis intervention for individuals who have experienced harassment or discrimination. All hotline users will remain anonymous.                
“Sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse is unacceptable in any industry, at any level,” saidYWCA Metropolitan Chicago CEO Dorri McWhorter. “When it comes to diversity and inclusion, 1871 is taking significant action and provides a model for other businesses in how to effectively advocate and empower women in the workplace. The YWCA is proud to stand side-by-side with the 1871 community to advance safe and healthy workplaces for all.”
Along with its collaboration with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the largest provider of sexual assault support services in the Midwest, 1871 has launched extensive efforts to support women in the workforce including WiSTEM, a 12-week, curriculum-based accelerator for women entrepreneurs, whose companies have raised more than $10 million in capital and created over 250 jobs, and ChiBuys, which supports women- and minority-owned food vendors in the Chicagoland area.

In addition to its diversity initiatives and programs, 1871 has also built two nursing rooms on its premises to support working mothers, worked aggressively to achieve gender parity among its mentor roster, and continues to reflect its values of diversity and inclusion in all of its organizational efforts including membership, events, recruiting, and programming.

About YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is the oldest and largest women’s organization in the region, with a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. For more than 140 years, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago has been committed to serving the evolving needs of women and families. Today, they help more than 200,000 individuals annually through Safety & Wellness, Education & Training, and Economic Sustainability. The organization is the largest provider of sexual assault support services in Illinois, offering crisis intervention, counseling, education and medical and legal advocacy services. They administer the state’s largest Child Care Resource and Referral program offering services to families seeking child care and a variety of support resources for child care providers. They also offer career, financial management, digital literacy and business services to help youth and adult members achieve financial stability and obtain training to enter high-growth fields. To learn more, please visit

About 1871
1871 is the home of over 500 high-growth technology startups and more than 1,500 members supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. Visit for more information. Located in a 150,000 square-foot space over three floors in The Merchandise Mart, 1871 has more than 600 current mentors available to its members, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations that make its extensive matrix of resources possible. For more on our partners, visit, or become a partner by reaching out to

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