How not to deal with harassment against your colleagues

Listen more, advise less.

by Stephen Jones

One of the most challenging situations during a manager’s career can be having to deal with claims of gender harassment or sexual harassment in your organisation. 

The Equality Act 2010 defines sexual harassment as “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity.” This can range from anything from indecent or suggestive remarks to more overt sexual demands and touching. It’s not limited to offline comments, email and social media are increasingly being used. 

A 2016 report by the TUC and The Everyday Sexism Project revealed that as may has 50 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment at work. Those problems have not gone away during the coronavirus lockdown: a survey by the legal firm Slater & Gordon revealed that a third of women have experienced sexist comments from senior management (including being asked to dress a specific way) for video calls.

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