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We need to set the tone and lead from the top. With this in mind, here are examples of some things we should never say or accept from others:
- A bullying and harassment policy should be enough to deal with sexual harassment and related inappropriate conduct.
- We have low report rates of sexual harassment and related inappropriate conduct, so it’s not a problem at this organisation.
- We have a reporting hotline which is well publicised, but we don’t get many calls about sexual harassment or related inappropriate conduct, so it’s not an issue here.
- I have been in this industry for decades and I have never seen it, so it mustn’t be happening.
- That’s the remit of our HR team. If there were ever a big issue, they would escalate it to us.
- Our staff engagement scores are terrific and there is no indication of there being a sexual harassment problem here. That means we’re doing enough.
We need to ensure our people feel safe to come forward and report instances of sexual harassment or related inappropriate conduct in the workplace. The only way they’ll do this is if they can see that leadership takes this issue seriously.