Posted on Jan 21, 2021 12:45 PMUpdated Jan 21, 2021, 5:35 PM
In recent days, the very recent Balance ta start-up Instagram account (@balancetastartup) which denounces toxic management, harassment and discrimination in young shoots, has exploded the counters: more than 115,000 subscribers at the time of this writing. The main reason ? Dozens of testimonies poured out to fine Lõu Yetu, a young brand of “mischievous” jewelry, accused of mistreating its employees.
Little is known about the creator of the @balancetastartup account (who wishes to remain anonymous). She is in her thirties, has worked in many start-ups and has witnessed or the target of a lot of inappropriate behavior. “Some employers allow themselves anything and everything, because they have oversized egos, because in these structures, you no longer know if you are friends or colleagues., she remarks. In addition to that, the Covid crisis has exacerbated deviant managerial practices “, she continues.
In December 2021, she came across an article that described the hell of the management of the start-up Glasses for All. She then realizes that she is not the only one to suffer in the face of managerial incompetence and the sometimes deceptively benevolent culture of start-ups. This is the click. In the wake of the @balancetonagency account which publicizes the abuses in advertising, she is launching her account to free speech on violence at work in the not so rosy world of startuppers. “I expect the minimum from this account. I expect respect for labor law ”, she explains.
Doctolib, Meero, Lõu Yetu must be held to account
Is it up to social networks to act as a judge? Before suspending a business, the creator of the account ensures that she waits to receive several fairly substantial testimonials, she digs the answers and then makes sure that the person who writes to her really exists. “And if the companies involved wish to respond, I will share their message. I do not want to bias the opinion in any way ”, specifies the thirty-something.
Very quickly after the creation of the account, she received testimonials from highly publicized companies such as Lydia, Meero or Doctolib. Tuesday, January 19, the notoriety of the account changes (it goes from less than 10,000 subscribers to more than 100,000). In story, she asks the question: opinions on Lõu Yetu? In less than ten minutes, she received a dozen overwhelming testimonies. Then during the day, hundreds of messages from former employees, employees still in post, freelances, service providers surge. ” It [la fondatrice] kept me from sleeping every Sunday. She emailed Sunday at 10 p.m. for the Monday morning meeting. […] She disgusted me with the world of jewelry ”, can we read on the account. Other anonymous people report grossophobic and racist behavior on the part of the founder. “After such an experience, there are young women who no longer have any self-confidence, some are still traumatized by the moral harassment of which they have been victims”, reports the creator of the account, in shock.
Wednesday evening, the jewelry brand (which has lost thousands of subscribers on Instagram since the revelations about its management) responds to @balancetastartup. She denies most of the facts related in the testimonies and declares to regret the “name shaming” which she undergoes.
Soon an employment law consulting account
Even if, today, this account is used to denounce violence in start-ups, its role will evolve, informs the designer: “We soon plan to give basic advice on labor law, on what an employer can or cannot do, on how to put together a case in the event of a dispute”. To do this, she plans to collaborate with Elise Fabing, labor lawyer and specialist in harassment, discrimination and burnout issues. The lawyer already supports @balancetonagency subscribers: every Monday, she organizes a live on Instagram to relieve employees in distress.
The creator of @balancetastartup which brings together (at the time of this writing) more than 116,000 people specifies that she also welcomes positive testimonials. “I don't want to share news that is just anxiety-provoking. I also try to highlight benevolent start-ups, because there are ”, she insists. The call is launched.