#MeToo derived from the wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations to hit show business. The massive publicity has brought a new recognition to issues that may have been previously isolated.
Recent research by The Equality & Human Rights Commission in March found that over half of people that experienced sexual harassment at work did not report it. Reluctance was due to lack of appropriate procedure, uncertainty on who to approach and a worry that complaints would not be taken seriously.
So how do you know if you really have the right behaviours and culture?
Many companies will have previously thought a policy and HR team held the solution to tackling harassment, but does it in reality? Are certain senior people protected? Does your approach encourage people to seek support? Do you have reliable data to ascertain what happens in practice where potential issues might be?
Technology may hold the answer! Manchester University use a tech tool called ‘Report and Support’. Enabling them to provide independent support, but ultimately access confidential data to prevent issues happening in the first place.
Legal repercussions are only part of the reason why you should reassess how you approach sexual harassment, ultimately it is about creating an environment where people feel genuinely safe and protected at work.