Guthrie announces steps after harassment probe

Carpenter Molly Diers at work in the Guthrie Theater scene shop.
Carpenter Molly Diers at work in the Guthrie Theater scene shop in March, 2015. Diers was one of two who said the shop was a hostile work environment, particularly for women,
Megan Engeseth Photography

The Guthrie Theater has concluded its independent investigation into accusations of sexual harassment.

Earlier this year, two carpenters in the Guthrie's scene shop resigned. They complained the Guthrie had not moved fast enough to deal with continuing gender discrimination and harassment.

The Guthrie's investigation found that in multiple instances staffers made inappropriate comments to female colleagues, and that there were ongoing issues with workplace culture.

An outside investigator interviewed fifty-three current and former employees over a period of two months.

Guthrie Board Chair Martha Aronson said the investigation found that while one of the carpenters was inappropriately touched, she was not sexually assaulted.

"We also learned that our culture — like many in the world today — has work to do to be an even more collegial, respectful, high-performing, efficient organization," she said. "And we intend to take the actions so that we can do that."

In addition to efforts already underway, the Guthrie administration says it will restructure its Human Resources department, mandate management training for all supervisors and ensure that all employees are held accountable for inappropriate workplace behavior in the future.

One of the former Guthrie carpenters has charged the theater with creating a hostile work environment. That charge is still pending before the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights.

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