SEXUAL HARASSMENT / Beyond the zero-tolerance

Excerpt from session:

Sexual harassment is not a following the law thing. It is a very mean, unfair, abuse of power.

There are at least three things that every organization can do to deal with this harmful behavior:

  • Consider that sexual harassment is always sneaking from somewhere in our daily operations
  • Help create and increase a zero tolerance for sexual harassment which include fight against unwanted repeated sex-related comments, requests, bullying in the organization
  • Provide workers with safe, reliable procedures for reporting sexual bad behavior
  • Why? Aside from the most important fact that the harassed person is violated and sometimes hurt, the overall culture of an organization can be forever damaged or compromised.

    The reality of sexual harassment in the workplace often results from the cultural acceptance of bad behavior at work. Therefore, management must lead by example. It has to show some empathy. Concerns about sexual harassment, bullying and corporate culture should be top-of-mind of every CEO, C-suite executive and board member. Corporate ethics and culture can’t (just be delegated) to the HR and Compliance functions.

    Blanket statements about a “zero-tolerance” policy toward sexual harassment sound good, but executing such a policy can be a nightmare without clear standards regulating what is prohibited and how that will be enforced. At least there has to be a some sort of guide for employers that do not have policies in place about sexual harassment at work, or for those thinking about changing them.