“Time for businesses to take a stand against sexual harassment experienced by the LGBT+ community”, says the CIPD in response to the TUC’s report on harassment against the LGBT+ community at work.
The report was commissioned as the TUC who wanted to understand LGBT people’s experience of sexual harassment at work with the first specifically targeted research of its kind in the UK, seeking the views of more than 1,000 LGBT people on their experiences.
The report’s findings were ‘shocking’ with around seven out of ten (68%) LGBT people reporting being sexually harassed at work, yet two thirds said that they didn’t report this to their employer. One in four of those who didn’t report were prevented from raising the issue with their employer by their fear of being ‘outed’ at work.
The TUC’s research found unacceptably high levels of sexual harassment across all different types of harassing behaviours for both LGBT men and women.
“An inclusive workplace isn’t a ‘nice to have’; it’s about equality, human rights and fairness for all.” said Claire McCartney, diversity and inclusion adviser for the CIPD.
McCartney adds “”It’s time for businesses to take a stand against the worryingly high levels of sexual harassment experienced by the LGBT+ community. There is simply no room for the harassment of any individual at work and every one of us should be treated with dignity and respect.”
“It’s essential that organisations take a zero-tolerance approach to any form of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment at work. They need to ensure that they have robust frameworks and policies in place for dealing with such incidences and all employees are clear and confident about reporting such behaviour. Employers also need to make sure that they are applying their policies and procedures in a fair and consistent way. To do this, line managers must be trained and confident in implementing the organisation’s policies and dealing with any concerns or complaints.”
“More than that though, organisations need to be proactive in building inclusive and open cultures which aim to prevent such behaviour from occurring in the first place. This includes engaging with employees on the organisation’s zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and making it completely clear what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour at work.”
“Ultimately we need to create cultures where all employees can bring their whole selves to work and be valued and included without any fear of cruelty, harassment or discrimination.”
You can read the TUC’s report ‘Sexual harassment of LGBT people in the workplace’ here.
You can read the original CIPD press release here.