Is There A Weinstein In Your Office?
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
More than a third of women have been sexually harassed at work in the past year. This staggering statistic stands in spite of the global #MeToo movement’s efforts to stop the problem.
One fifth of the women surveyed found the courage to speak out and more than half suffered consequences as a result, including being side-lined and some even lost their jobs. (The Times)
The 2016 report Still Just A Bit of Banter? revealed that over half of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment while at work. Of the 1500 women surveyed, 52% had been victims of unwanted sexual behaviour from groping to inappropriate jokes.
Similar findings were discovered in a BBC study which shower 51% of women and 20% of men have been sexually harassed at work.
Most alarmingly, 28% of the women surveyed said they still had an office ‘Weinstein’; a predatory man who uses his position of power to prey on female employees in the workplace.
When faced with sexual harassment, or a ‘Weinstein’ figure in the office, what can you do? Suffering silently or resigning should not be options to consider.
Raising A Grievance
It is a small step, and one that at first appears to make little difference, but raising a grievance will mean that there is documentation of your complaint. If there is any retaliation by your employer, then you are in a more protected position and can make a victimisation claim.
Many Voices Are Louder Than One
Whether you are coming up against a powerfully predatorial colleague or boss, it is important to find support and stand together. Finding others in your work place who share your experience will not only alleviate some of your fear and stress, it will also give more credence to your voice. It is much more difficult for an employer to tolerate a work place bully who becomes a liability when several people are speaking out about harassment and pursuing employment claims.
Victims of sexual harassment need to act quickly as there is a strict three-month time limit. Your complaint needs to be heard by your employer and documented now.
Take It To Court
Employment tribunals are external committees who access whether employers have acted unlawfully and seek to resolve the problem. If the harassment continues after you have reported it to your employer, or if the harasser owns the company and you have no one else to take your complaint to, you should take your case to a tribunal. You can also take your case to a tribunal if you are not happy with the way your claim was investigated or if you deem the outcome unsatisfactory.