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Only one in four workers agree that international media coverage in the form of #MeToo and high profile celebrity cases has helped to improve their workplace culture, according to new research on sexual harassment from Acas.
The YouGov survey for Acas found four in ten workers (38%) said that they would be “very likely” to report sexual harassment if they personally experienced it in their workplace. Six out of ten (58%) workers believe that their current employer is doing about the right amount to reduce sexual harassment in their workplace and 46% believe that ‘making changes to the wider culture of the company’ would be effective in preventing sexual harassment.
Respondents were asked what could make a difference in terms of reducing sexual harassment at work. The most popular thing was better training on the topic for all staff (favoured by 60%). Some 44% opted for updating existing policies and procedures for dealing with sexual harassment; 38% chose creating new policies and procedures and 35% opted for making changes to legal protections.
Acas Head of Diversity, Julie Dennis, said: “It has been one year since the #MeToo movement gained widespread publicity but our poll reveals that there’s still a long way to go to change British workplace cultures.
“Our study also reveals that many workers feel their employers are doing enough, but then there’s a big question around why so few of them are likely to report serious incidents to their line manager.
“Businesses need to ensure that workplace environments are safe and welcoming places so that any type of sexual harassment behaviour never sees the light of day. But if it does happen then staff should feel confident to report this type of abuse.”