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Majority of women experience harassment at work

This news post is over 6 years old

Zero Tolerance report shows that there is still much work to be done when it comes to supporting women in Scottish workplaces

Most women are still experiencing sexual harassment at work, new research has revealed.

A Zero Tolerance survey of over 600 people found that 70% of female workers have either been the victim or witnessed others be harassed in the office.

Over a third described having experienced gender based bullying or teasing and 42% of respondents reported experiencing double standards at work for men and women.

With one in three women experiencing violence at some point in their lives, the survey aimed to delve deeper into the experiences of workers and employers in Scotland and find out what positive measures employers were taking to prevent sexism and misogynistic attitudes.

Unfortunately, the report, which received responses from individuals from across the public, private sector and third sector, showed that many Scottish employees will still work in an environment where sexism and harassment are left unchecked.

The charity has made a number of recommendations, including calling on the Scottish Government to lead by example by designing a workplace violence against women prevention policy after three quarters of the survey respondents said they were either unsure or not aware of their employer having one.

Employers need to be encouraged to prioritise prevention, rather than responding to incidents, to change attitudes and therefore workplace cultures, the charity said.

They can also play their part by enacting a violence against women policy which contains details of support and training on offer and how it will be promoted. It should also contain guidance for dealing with perpetrators both in and outside of the workplace.

"This research confirms what we already know; employers are still sometimes unable to pick up on the signs of abuse or appropriately assess the correct support mechanisms needed to challenge hostile attitudes to women,” Amy Marshall, Zero Tolerance’s educators and employers development officer said.

“The responses do show a clear appetite for change in the Scottish workforce, both from employers and employees. If employers take up the mantle and make some changes to their workplace, we could make real strides in creating a more gender equal workforce.

“Ultimately this will benefit the employers too; those who spend some time and energy promoting a healthy and supportive workplace will retain talented staff, avoid litigation and lead a more productive team."



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