Workplace sexual harassment prevention has been a top priority for many companies following the high-profile scandals of the past few years. Is your company’s sexual harassment policy and training clear and thorough, or full of vague definitions and clichéd examples?
If you’re looking for practical information about workplace sexual harassment, including recent (alarming) statistics and a step-by-step guide to preventing it, you’ll find it in this infographic.
Use this Sexual Harassment Policy Template as a starting point to develop an effective, strong policy that actually prevents harassment at work.
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- Sexual harassment is defined as harassment based on the victim’s sex. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and any other type of gender-based harassment including verbal, physical and psychological.
- Sexual harassment falls under two types: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
- Quid pro quo is an exchange of sexual services for gain or avoidance of loss.
- Hostile work environment is any sexual harassment that fosters an intimidating environment for the victim.
Workplace Sexual Harassment Statistics
- Approximately 72 per cent of workplace sexual harassment victims do not report it.
- 81 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime. Almost three-quarters were harassed by someone more senior in their organization.
- 98 per cent of companies have a corporate sexual harassment policy, but only 51 per cent implemented new policies or training in response to the #metoo movement.
Does your company handle sexual harassment investigation with care?
Because of the consequences it can have on the victim, the accused and your organization, it’s extra important to address sexual harassment with sensitivity, professionalism and objectivity. Download our free cheat sheet to learn 10 expert tips on improving your investigations.Get the Cheat Sheet
Workplace Sexual Harassment Prevention
- Clarify workplace and conduct expectations with a strong anti-harassment policy.
- The tone from the top significantly influences employee behavior. Make sure senior leaders are setting a good example.
- Reduce risk by taking precautions. Draw up that consensual relationship agreement and limit alcohol at office parties. If the risk is too high, reduce the risk.
- Educate employees and implement training. Teach your staff how to be more aware of inappropriate behavior and better equipped to detect and prevent incidents. Try to avoid emphasizing liability during sexual harassment seminars. The legal burden is not the point.
- Discourage bad behavior. A policy only goes so far if you’re not enforcing it. No more overlooking bad behavior or “letting it slide”.
- Monitor the workplace and be involved. Know the warning signs of bad behavior and don’t be afraid to ask if things are ok.
- Offer an internal complaint system (e.g. a hotline or online complaint form), preferably with the option to remain anonymous. Then, teach employees how to use it.
- Support victims. Forbid any type of retaliation and do what you can to provide physical and emotional safety for victims.
- Resolve incidents. Acknowledge complaints, respond carefully, investigate quickly and discipline accordingly.
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