MIL-OSI Economics: Alibaba to Strengthen Organizational Guardrails for Positive Workplace Environment

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Source: Alibaba

Headline: Alibaba to Strengthen Organizational Guardrails for Positive Workplace Environment

Below is an announcement to employees from Alibaba Group on August 12:

Dear Alibaba colleagues,

Before dawn on August 9th, we announced the interim investigation results and penalty decisions related to the 807 incident. Our internal investigation is almost finished, and we will share the findings with everyone as soon as possible.

Over the past few days, we have been working diligently. Following a thorough review and intense discussions, we have decided to enact a series of actions to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. These actions have incorporated the feedback on our intranet, the notes received in our open mailbox and the discussions in various DingTalk chat groups. We received many constructive thoughts and suggestions from colleagues, and we can feel there is tremendous trust and affection for Alibaba. Below is an update on the progress of our actions thus far:

1. We will establish a professional committee to strengthen organizational guardrails.

  • Establishment of an Alibaba Group Committee on Workplace Environment, with Group Deputy Chief People Officer Jane Jiang serving as chairwoman. The Committee will be the decision-making body for matters related but not limited to sexual harassment prevention and will report directly to the Alibaba Group Board of Directors. Committee members in this initial phase are five female senior management executives from the Group level: Group Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu; Chief People Officer Judy Tong; Group General Counsel Sara Yu and Group Chief Risk Officer Jessie Zheng. A diversity of employee representatives will be invited to join the Committee in the future.
  • The Committee on Workplace Environment will appoint an independent working team (AID Team) responsible for investigating any complaints and reports related to sexual harassment and sexual assault. The AID team has established an email (Ali-aid@list.alibaba-inc.com)  for reporting and a dedicated sexual harassment prevention emergency support hotline (0571-85022088-1818-0). A dedicated specialist will process and investigate each complaint based on facts, under the precondition that individual privacy is fully protected. The specialist will regularly follow up on complaints and investigations to ensure that no actions have been taken against victims and whistleblowers. 
  • The Committee on Workplace Environment will appoint an appeals committee for serious reports of violations to review any discrepancies arising from the investigation and protect the legitimate rights of all parties with impartiality.

2. We are formulating and revising related guidelines and policies.

  • Revise “Alibaba Group Business Code of Conduct” to improve practices and measures related to sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention.
  • Formulate “Alibaba Group Sexual Harassment Prevention Code of Conduct” to intensify our zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct.
  • Improve the guidelines for employee engagement with customers and partners to help employees draw clear boundaries between work and social interaction.
  • Clarify handling mechanisms for sexual harassment and sexual assault reports, including complaint filing, response process, and crisis intervention, to ensure employees have open reporting channels and clear feedback on results.

3. We are institutionalizing positive workplace measures

  • ALI-WE (a team dedicated towards creating a safe space) has been set up, which will examine and eradicate inappropriate workplace behavior reported by employees, including but not limited to issues such as forced drinking culture and tasteless comments that make the workplace uncomfortable. Employees will have unconditional support to refuse any type of forced drinking. 
  • Gender quality status and healthy workplace culture will be incorporated into our annual ESG report. 
  • Professional training will be instituted. Regular sexual harassment prevention and self-defense employee training will be introduced. Training of new employees, managers, and professional functions will be strengthened. Sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention will be incorporated into our annual mandatory “Alibaba Group Business Code of Conduct” certification.
  • We have established a counseling and legal support hotline (0571-85022088-1818-5) to provide employees with the necessary support and help.

The best reflection is action. Every one of us is responsible for contributing to a positive atmosphere at Alibaba. It is our shared responsibility to create a mutually respectful workplace environment. Please join us in our actions! Let us work hard together!

Alibaba Group

2021.8.12

MIL OSI Economics