Tackling Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Workplace sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that violates a worker’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or offensive environment. It is recognised under multiple international agreements and laws as sex discrimination and must be eliminated in creating gender-equal societies and workplaces.

In a 4 nation approach to eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace across the UK, Chwarae Teg, Fawcett Society, WRDA and Close the Gap have come together to create a UK-wide campaign for change.

The project, funded by Rosa: Now’s The Time Challenge fund has undertaken research on how employers, managers, and women view current experiences of sexual harassment and identifies five key requirements to create a workplace that does not tolerate sexual harassment: culture; policy; training; reporting mechanisms; and the way employers respond to reports. View the full report here: Fawcett report.

Key findings from the latest report, show that:

  • At least 40% of women have experienced workplace harassment, and women who are marginalised for other reasons, such as race or disability, face an increased risk and different forms of sexual harassment
  • 45% of women in a recent survey reported experiencing harassment online through sexual messages, cyber harassment and sexual calls
  • Almost a quarter of women who had been sexually harassed said the harassment had increased or escalated since the start of the pandemic while they were working from home
  • Almost seven in ten (68%) disabled women reported being sexually harassed at work, compared to 52% of women in general
  • Ethnic minority workers (women and men) reported higher rates (32%) of sexual harassment than white workers (28%) over the last 12 months
  • A poll of LGBT workers found that 68% had experienced some form of harassment in the workplace

The project has also worked with employers across the UK to promote Anti-Sexual Harassment best practice within their organisations and created employer-focused resources to promote a proactive and responsive culture.

A toolkit of employer-focused resources has been created, supporting employers to be more proactive in their efforts towards eradicating sexual harassment in the workplace.

The toolkit will:

  • Help employers understand what is sexual harassment
  • Provide confidence and skills to tackle sexual harassment at work
  • Develop stand-alone anti-sexual harassment policies
  • Create harassment-free cultures within their organisations

The toolkit includes:

  1. Tackling Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Report
  2. Where to start – A guide for Employers
  3. Climate survey Template
  4. Template Sexual Harassment Policy and Guidance
  5. Campaign Video
  6. Template Campaign Posters
  7. Example Campaign Posters (South Wales Police)
  8. Case studies (Employers and Survivors)
  9. ASH Pioneer Training Materials
  10. Further Support and Guidance for Employers
  11. Support Organisations and Helplines for Employees
  12. Intersectionality – A Guide for Employers