The aftermath of #MeToo
The shockwaves post the #MeToo movement has brought to fore the gravity and extent of sexual harassment at the workplace which many employers are taking cognizance of.
With this new or renewed focus on gender issues, creating a comfortable and safe working environment is more of a right than a choice for all employees. Gender discrimination and harassment is not only ethically wrong, but also detrimental for the organisation. Turning a blind eye to sexual harassment can have an adverse effect on the reputation and growth of a company. It is every employer’s duty to send the message that workplace sexual harassment will not be tolerated on their watch.
Culture change begins at the top. In addition to framing sexual harassment policies and conducting awareness programmes and workshops, it is the duty of the employers to prevent sexual harassment effectively by:
- Communicating with employees periodically
- Building a strong and skillful redressal committee
- Educating the employees of their obligations in case an employee is victimised
- Creating a respectful environment in which men and women are treated as equals
- Sensitizing employees on the right behaviour to be adopted in the workplace
If companies want to reduce the possibility of sexual harassment, they must understand that it is not just lack of knowledge but is a social and behavioural problem. Just requiring employees to have a mandatory training course isn’t sufficient. Today, there is a pressing need to change the mindset of employees as well as employers to combat sexual harassment.
What are you doing in this context?
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