Failing to eradicate sexual harassment is not an option

The TUC has published new research today in collaboration with the Everyday Sexism Project which found that 52% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work, rising to 63% of women aged 18-24.

Responding to the report, Kathryn Nawrockyi, Gender Equality Director, Business in the Community, said: “It’s shocking that sexual harassment in the workplace is still prevalent in 2016 – but sadly nothing new. Today’s report reflects the findings from our Project 28-40 report, which found 12% of women had experienced sexual harassment at work in the past three years alone. For some groups of women, this figure was even higher – 19% of bisexual women, 18% of women under 28 and 17% of female board members or directors.

“It’s concerning that many women feel reporting sexual harassment will damage their careers or will not be believed, suggesting a gap between employers’ policies and women’s experiences. Yet as well as impacting on victims, not dealing with sexual harassment is also costly for employers, including its effect on victims’ and witnesses’ mental and physical health, low productivity and the cost of employment tribunals. This demonstrates there is a strong business case for employers to go beyond policy and take action.

“Business in the Community will shortly publish a new toolkit to support employers in tackling sexual harassment within their organisation. We want employers to tackle this head on: be clear about the broad definition of sexual harassment in policies, educate all staff on the nature of sexual harassment and how to call it out, and establish multiple routes to escalating a complaint, both informal and formal. Sadly organisational cultures often enable sexism to thrive, and we need employers to take a lead on transforming those cultures and stamping out bad behaviour. Where the safety and wellbeing of employees are concerned, there can be no room to fail.” 

Access our Project 28-40 report>>