While the name Harvey Weinstein may have been known by some of us, it was not a household name – however you now can’t listen to the news or read a magazine or newspaper without hearing his name mentioned as women have come forward sharing that they have been victims of sexual harassment from Harvey Weinstein.
In this blog post aspire cambridge have put together some ways in which we can all tackle sexual harassment in the workplace;
Do You Feel Uncomfortable?
If you think you may have made someone feel uncomfortable from a touch or comments you have made then do not be afraid to ask them if you have made them feel uncomfortable. They may say that there is no problem, or they could say that actually something you did or said has made them feel uncomfortable and this gives you a chance to explain the situation and apologise before the matter escalates and it enables you to keep your behaviour in check going forward.
I Feel Uncomfortable
One way of confronting sexual harassment in the workplace is to tell the person that you feel uncomfortable with what they are doing to you or someone else in your team; by sharing your feelings you will feel in control of the situation and it will help the person learn more about their behaviour too. Try not to raise this concern in an accusatory way as the person may not realise how it made you feel.
Understand Sexual Harassment
While most people will understand what sexual assault is, few will know what constitutes sexual harassment. Citizens Advice describes sexual harassment as unwanted behaviour that is sexual in nature, violates the dignity of a person, makes a person feel degraded, humiliated or intimidated or creates a hostile environment. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be anything from sexual jokes and comments, unwelcome touches or physical behaviour right through to being shown images of a sexual nature.
Stop And Think
Before you make a pass at someone in the workplace or say something that you think is risky, even if it is just in jest, stop and think. While it may seem self-explanatory, stopping and thinking before you say or do something could save a lot of upset for everyone in your workplace. This will also go some way in helping change the atmosphere in the workplace and help others think about their behaviour too.
If the Harvey Weinstein case has shown us one thing, it is that many people were scared to report the sexual harassment and this resulted in more people becoming victims of his sexual harassment. Do not let self-doubt, guilt, fear, isolation or the worry of being penalised stop you from speaking out; as with the Harvey Weinstein case, you could be the first of many to speak out. Your company may have a anti bullying and harassment policy which you could read to see how the business can support you in reporting or dealing with any unwanted behaviour.