Creating healthier workplaces

Who, what, how, when, why interview


Janine Yancey, CEO & Co-founder of Emtrain (

WHAT did you do ?

My background is in employment law and I was a partner at a firm that solved labor and employment issues for major high-tech companies. Our role was to respond retroactively to the toxicity that existed in the workplace, which often became legal issues, and rectify them. Sometimes these issues were blatant and other times they were subtle. Being around some of the major players in the tech world opened my eyes to the role of data in helping to stop problems before they started. For so long, HR compliance training was truly just a matter of checking boxes to meet legal requirements. Employees would watch a poorly produced video, the HR rep would ask if there were any questions and everyone would go on their way. It didn’t go deeper to find out the “why’s” and signs of issues like sexual harassment, bias and a lack of inclusion. It became clear to me that a proactive approach, with in-depth training and consistent monitoring of a company’s culture utilizing the latest tech tools available, would serve both employees and employers.

HOW did you do it? 

I launched Emtrain as a way of getting to the root of issues so companies would have access to the real temperature of their organization and take the steps necessary to create a healthier workplace. Today, we’re helping to transform workplace behavior using real-world video scenarios, engaging animation and Q&A access to industry experts on topics ranging from workplace harassment prevention to cybersecurity. What’s most exciting for us is seeing the results of our programs while also trying to stay one step ahead of potential conflicts in very fluid environments.

WHEN did you start your company? 

Emtrain was launched in 2000 and we’ve been growing consistently since then. We work with some of the top tech and media companies in America including Netflix, Yelp, Dolby, LiveNation, Chevron, and others.

WHY are you innovating with this product or service? 

While the #metoo movement cast a spotlight on the longstanding issue of sexual harassment in the workplace in the eyes of the public, it came as no surprise to us. But what is less well known are the levels of harassment that can take place. It’s not just the powerful man seeking favors from an employee. Harassment can be very subtle with the impact being just as damaging. It also extends to areas that many don’t consider unless they’re looking for it.

We very recently released a large-scale study that looked in to the dynamics of the workplace to better understand where many of the key problem areas exist. We used roughly 2.5 million data points delivered by 40,000 employees across 125 of our client companies and looked at less talked about issues such as bias, ethical mishaps, trust in management and how the “in and out” group dynamic impacts the workplace culture. Some of the findings were very surprising and showed that we have a long way to go towards creating healthier workplaces. Our role in that is to provide our clients with an online, interactive platform that gives them not only the tools to address the toxic issues that exist but to create benchmarks so they accurately determine the success of their efforts.

While data may be black and white, human beings are made up of shades. Our goal is to understand and present those different shades, played out in real life scenarios, and then provide the kind of actionable, implementable tools that allow companies to create healthier workplaces. So we see ourselves as serving both our company clients and their employees at once. Creating the “win-win” is what continues to drive us.

WHERE are you from? 

Emtrain has offices in both San Francisco and Sacramento, CA USA. I started my career in San Francisco and moved to Sacramento to start a family and that’s where I currently reside.


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