Sexual harassment in the workplace: London firms issue ‘etiquette’ guides

Sexual harassment in the workplace: London firms issue ‘etiquette’ guides

Nearly half of UK workplaces have no measures in place to deal with inappropriate behaviour. This comes as Emma Watson launches advice line to stamp out sexual harassment. Below are a few pointers to take away regarding how to start #metoo conversations in the workplace… 

Men and #MeToo:
The role of men in providing a solution to #MeToo has typically been removed from the conversation. It is clear that a lack of awareness and education has resulted. Not only is the issue becoming more prevalent for over a fifth of the workforce, but moreover, a means to an end becoming an overly challenging issue for workplace decision makers to solve. This data is indicative, not only of an issue that is not fixing itself, but instead, a distinct lack of awareness across both gender sets as to what constitutes as a #MeToo issue, if the issue should be reported and how workplaces can progress. Men need to speak up about the movement, and their place within it, and this can only be done if they are included in the conversation.

How businesses can help reduce #MeToo incidences:
• Effective bystander responsibility – businesses need to make workers feel empowered to call out inappropriate behaviour in the workplace
• Businesses need to remove the grey zones surrounding what is acceptable in the workplace by providing clear guidelines, whether this be in person or as official documents, that are available to all levels of the business that can iron out any misunderstanding surrounding potential #MeToo issues
• Workplaces should conduct open forum discussions that aim to remove any associated taboo with the topics discussed, full de-stigmatisation must be actioned across all workplaces

Hephzi Pemberton, Founder of Equality Group comments:
“It is great to see that businesses and prominent role models are taking a stance towards educating the UK workforce on what constitutes as inappropriate behaviour and the legal options women can take, without fear of it impacting their career. As a society, we should be striving to stamp out harassment, bullying and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace by creating and implementing positive policies. While the situation has almost certainly improved, there are still a number of steps that workplaces need to take to improve their working culture. Bringing in diverse talent at senior levels, in terms of women and BAME professionals, to bring new ideas to boards and leadership teams across the country can undoubtedly change working cultures for the better.”

Equality Group harnesses the power of diverse leaders for Finance, Technology and Social Impact. They change the business landscape by widening the range of exceptional candidates and offering them unique leadership opportunities. Their consultancy service helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent. 

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