The year 2018 will be remembered for many things, including the rise of the #MeToo movement involving sexual harassment. To that end, there have been a number of high-profile allegations made in the worlds of business, media, politics and elsewhere.
Many business owners and HR departments may have recently reviewed their policies in effort to police the behavior and protect the company. And this may have led them to believe that they have a handle on the issue. They may be right, however, Bloomberg claims that employees feel differently about the matter. While 70 percent of leaders “strongly agree” that the company does not tolerate harassment, fewer than half of 1,000 workers polled agree with this assessment. Moreover, 25 percent say they heard about or witnessed an incident within the last year.
Reasons for this disconnect
According to FairyGodBoss, which is an employment site that caters to female professionals, 63 percent of women employees have not reported an incident of harassment in the workplace. There are different reasons for this, including:
- The victims fear retaliation
- The victims fear their allegations will not be taken seriously
- The victims do not trust the human resources department because it represents the interests of the company
- Employees may not be aware of changes in harassment policies or procedures
Better communication is a start
Many of the women polled believe CEO or bosses directly addressing issues of respect and safety provide a good start to changing the culture of a company. Working with attorneys on the protocols and taking action for providing a safer workplace are also recommended to show staff that the company is serious about handling issues of harassment and safety.