#Metoo: An HR Forum for Sexual Harassment in the Work Place

Photo of Julia Millidge by Julia Millidge

It’s always good to keep yourself up to date with industry news, so as part of my Professional Development with Payara I signed up for the HW Chamber of Commerce HR forum meet up.

These informal sessions for HR practitioners are a great way to find out about new legislation, update current knowledge and also to get the opportunity to ask questions of the ‘experts’ and of course…… network. This session addressed Sexual Harassment in the work place.

#MeToo

We’ve all seen in the news recently the allegations made about ‘senior’ (mainly) men who have abused their power within their work places (and outside) to sexually harass work colleagues. It still amazes me that in 2019 after 100 years in the UK of women getting the right to vote and be recognised as equals, that this is still happening ….but unfortunately in some industries, the work place culture doesn’t seem to have moved on to one of respect for ALL individuals.

 

The #Metoo campaign has brought into awareness the continuing unacceptable behaviours that individuals have to deal with on a daily basis.

Sexual Harassment…Weeding it Out

Abuse of power and lack of respect in and out of the work place is something that all HR practitioners need to be aware of and actively seek to eradicate. Failing to do this can be a very costly and damaging mistake for everyone concerned. Now is the time to make all staff aware of policy and practice in the business and offer training to those who lead teams and manage behaviours. It needs to be built in, and reinforced that it is NEVER okay to sexually harass anyone at any time – and what needs highlighting is that unacceptable sexual harassment of any type is not just confined to ‘the office’ or ‘work hours’ …but also extends to social or work related events at other times or in other places or even on social media.

 

They always say that prevention is better than cure and HR needs to work on that premise to create a positive culture where everyone feels respected and understands what is acceptable behaviour towards others and what’s not. We are all different and have had different experiences in life, so what one finds acceptable another may not - so it is also about HR defining what those parameters are.

Payara Culture

Payara has seven values……Openness and Trust are key values that underpin our Sexual Harassment Policy and behavioural culture. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable in anyway, and if they do, they should feel able to talk to someone and make decisions about what they want to do. Payara has a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment.

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