Removing sexual harassment from the workplace

Staff-wide training on sexual harassment is vital if businesses hope to reduce negative workplace cultures. A year after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein gave the #MeToo movement new impetus, there is still a “high level” of tolerance for harassment in the workplace.

A survey of more than 2,000 British adults found that 60% of respondents believed better training around sexual harassment for all members of staff would be the most effective step for reducing negative workplace cultures.

Only six in 10 respondents felt their employer was doing enough to tackle sexual harassment in their workplace. And the survey also suggested people remained willing to overlook damaging behaviours. Just a third would be “very likely” to report incidents of sexual harassment they witnessed at work, rising to 38% if it was an incident they personally experienced.

Almost a fifth of survey respondents said they would be ‘unlikely’ to report an incident of harassment if they experienced one, reflecting wider anxieties around reporting harassment.

Businesses need to ensure that workplace environments are safe and welcoming places so that any type of sexual harassment behaviour does not occur. But if it does happen, staff should feel confident to report this type of abuse.

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