Sexual harassment in the workplace is certainly nothing new or unheard of.

What is new is the growing trend of victim empowerment, with men and women striking back against the powerful creeps who have strutted above the law and beyond proper ethical behavior.

Among the figures brought down by recent charges: actor Kevin Spacey; Fox hosts Bill O’Reilly and Eric Bolling; media giant Roger Ailes; NPR news executive Mike Oreske; and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. In the short time between writing this and your reading it, there is a strong likelihood that more victims will come forward and more abusers will face justice in some form or forum.

The wave of accusers elevates a problem that has long been a matter for human resources departments to one that is a concern for compliance officers.

Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, makes the case for CCO intervention. More than 20 employees were fired amid 215 human resources reports regarding harassment.

Revelations that Uber executives tolerated a culture of harassment were a factor in the ouster of CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.

The episode underscores two emerging business realities: that shareholders care more about the bottom line and what constitutes “materiality” is a shifting benchmark.

Harassment settlements are becoming multimillion dollar deals. Even if a company subsidizes a settlement concerning an executive or figurehead, it is unlikely the price tag would move the needle on what regulators and shareholders would consider as materiality for public company disclosure purposes. That may be changing.

The lack of trust in reporting mechanisms by employees should serve as a scary warning that your desired “speak-out culture” is instead a “keep your head down” environment and other issues are hidden and suppressed.

One can argue, quite easily, that a shareholder revolt and CEO ouster of certainly has an effect on the bottom line. The ill effects of reputation risk are spotlighted like never before.

The strong association of companies to their “public faces” is also a trend to consider. For example, Steve Jobs’ health issues were arguably a material concern for Apple investors. So, why wouldn’t the loss of the man who made Uber the powerhouse it is, be similarly considered? How much money has Fox lost with its loss of talent and leadership?

It seems a difficult argument, however, to argue that the Fox network’s ratings decrease isn’t statistically significant.

Also, like it or not the disclosure regime has drifted beyond purely financial matters to issues related to social activism. Reputation risk looms large and, yes, it will affect stock price.  What if, hypothetically, Uber or Miramax were in the midst of M&A discussions? The scandal might very well have scuttled any deal.

For CCOs, harassment allegations also indicate that broader programs have failed. Take pride in your helpline/hotline? Well, widespread reports of harassment are a darn good metric that you shouldn’t and your faith is misplaced.

The lack of trust in reporting mechanisms by employees should serve as a scary warning that your desired “speak-out culture” is instead a “keep your head down” environment and other issues are hidden and suppressed.

As companies try to insulate themselves, especially by assisting with settlements or purchasing “employment practices liability insurance,” a message is sent that it is willing to buy its way out of trouble and subsidize bad behavior. Kiss efforts to foster an ethical culture and “tone at the top” goodbye.

Recent surveys tell us that sexual harassment matters are rarely discussed by directors, at least not until a situation explodes onto newspaper headlines and fosters social media-waved torches and pitchforks. CCOs need to change this. Just as they should escalate any fundamental matter to the board, harassment cannot be siloed away with human resources.

Reporting must be encouraged, employees must feel safe, and corporate resolution and follow-up is a necessity. Averting your gaze can no longer be tolerated, because shareholders are no longer looking the other way.