#NotMe is a mobile resolution-seeking platform that serves both individuals and organizations to combat workplace misconduct. #NotMe founder and CEO, and expert workplace harassment lawyer, Ariel Weindling, has made it his mission to combat issues of misconduct, making the world a safer place for everyone. #NotMe’s unique AI algorithms monitor each situation and provide reports that help monitor every incident. The platform can even flag repeat offenders or assist in predicting situations that may lead to an unsafe work environment. We had a chance to interview Ariel and asked about his story, how he started his business and the future of #NotMe.
Tell us your story. Why did you start #NotMe?
The idea for #NotMe was born on a plane back in 2017. I was flying back from Paris to Los Angeles reading one of the #MeToo stories in a magazine. In the article, a famous actress was sharing how she had been the victim of sexual harassment. I was very surprised that someone so successful and powerful was not able to prevent the abuse. Upon finishing reading the article, two thoughts entered my mind almost simultaneously. Number one, if a successful person like this actress cannot prevent nor report misconduct, how much more difficult must it be for a regular victim, the people living paycheck to paycheck, or a person who is more vulnerable. And two, I realized that my three children were one day going to be in the workplace. And there is no way I was going to let any person harass or bully them. I then pondered this widespread problem and made a commitment to use my personal resources and expertise with workplace misconduct to create accessible tools that would be able to help everyone report and prevent misconduct – both organizations and all people in the world, whether they’re connected to a corporate structure using our system or not.
How did you come up with the name #NotMe?
I felt strongly that the only good outcome to #MeToo must be #NotMe (no more victims), hence the name for this misconduct solution was born: #NotMe, I won’t be a recipient of misconduct without speaking up. #NotMe, I won’t be a witness of misconduct without speaking up. And #NotMe, I won’t be an organization that tolerates misconduct or sweeps it under the rug. #NotMe was born out of the cry for behavior change and a safe place for everyone, no matter their position of power, to report misconduct that happens anywhere, anytime.
Tell us about your app and services. How do you help your clients?
#NotMe helps people, employees and companies become accountable, empowered and efficient so they can deal, in a mature manner, with the complex problem of misconduct. It is time leaders understand that an internal report from an employee (through #NotMe or another source) is not a liability, but rather an opportunity. Employees must start to report instances of misconduct (including micro-aggressions) as soon as they occur or are perceived, so that their employer can deal with them and course-correct before something more egregious follows. The first step in eliminating misconduct starts with reporting it. Our app is very easy to use, and is free for any person wishing to download the app and report an issue independently. Reporting of an incident through #NotMe can be made in under 3 minutes. It is secure and safe. A reporter can report anonymously (or not) if they choose to do so. Our team has developed a smart and innovative product with great UI/UX. A reporter is asked to answer a few questions in which we quickly collect information pertaining to what happened, where, when and who is being reported. Reporters do not need to type very much to tell their stories. The #NotMe app guides them through the reporting, allowing them to select from various feelings and responses to make the process as simple and noninvasive as possible. Once submitted, #NotMe reaches out to keep them updated on the process and what is happening with the status of their report. Once they report, they are no longer alone in what has happened to them, and they now have the support of our caring team to guide them through potential next steps to help stop the behavior and ensure their psychological (sometimes physical) safety. #NotMe also contains a proprietary ‘Detective’ (our AI algorithm) that enables us to assess the severity and pervasiveness of every report received through #NotMe. We not only track misconduct but track its intensity. This is helpful for companies who subscribe to our larger platform to mitigate risk and get a solid picture of what is happening in the organization, so they can act on it to create a safe environment. Our system holds organizations accountable and helps them
show all stakeholders that they have a system in place to not only be compliant and socially responsible, but that they take any matters of misconduct seriously, encouraging the removal of this behavior to begin with.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
# NotMe offers an open, resolution-seeking reporting platform serving both individuals and organizations alike.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
To become the #1 trusted, open reporting platform for an empowered generation of people to change behavior and responsibly raise and report concerns. I see #NotMe making a difference in a new generation of organizations and people who feel safer speaking up to misconduct. I see our business significantly impacting and curbing bad behavior thus reducing the number of reported issues over time and as a result the amount of employment law related litigations toward organizations. Our platform will also help companies with talent retention and recruiting. Companies (and employees) will no longer be able to sweep misconduct under the rug.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Join the #NotMe Generation on the right side of misconduct, implement a solid, neutral reporting system in your organization, and uncover situations that otherwise may have gone unchecked and gotten out of control. You’ll not only be there for your employees, but you’ll be compliant. It is always better to be proactive than reactive…….
What is your favorite business quote and why?
Not sure if it is my favorite, but I enjoyed Michelle Obama’s quote “Do we settle for the world as it is, or work for the world as it should be?” Misconduct has gotten out of hand, and we’re not much further along than we were over two years ago when #MeToo first gained momentum. It’s time to put actionable tools in everyone’s hands to voice their concerns via neutral systems that will stand by them to affect change. #NotMe is ready to support organizations and anyone who needs to report misconduct.
What have been some of #NotMe achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
I’m very proud of the team and people around #NotMe. What is very unique and interesting in our team is that there is incredible talent and from a group where most of us have always been part of the minority. We have a team that is mission-driven and knows and understands that the work we do at #NotMe makes a ton of sense and will have a big impact on society. So, the first achievement of which as a founder I am proud of is the caliber of our great team. Second, I am very proud of the help we have been able to provide to employees
across the country in the course of the past few months. And lastly, very proud to have the best companies and clients working with us. We can have all the will to change the world and improve the existing status quo, but if ultimately employees and employers do not share in our vision and mission, not much can be accomplished. So as a founder, I am very grateful to our clients who trust and like the #NotMe products. It is our pride and honor to service them.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
The problem at-hand is centralized corporate power and a lack of accountability that prioritizes the bottom line over individual safety. Employees need an easier, more comfortable way to report misconduct (with anonymity, if they choose) and employers need a safer way to capture it (analytics), so both can benefit by preventing escalation and creating an overall safer environment for everyone. The overwhelming majority of people who experience or witness misconduct in the workplace never report it. There are a few reasons that explain this lack of reporting from victims and witnesses. #NotMe was created, in part, to remedy the problem of lack of reporting. Our intention is to make the reporting of misconduct, and as a by-product, its prevention and elimination as easy as possible for the employees. We make it safe!