Hopefully, you’ll already know the timeTo campaign to stamp out sexual harassment in our industry. A collaboration between us at NABS with WACL and the Advertising Association, we joined forces in 2018 to end sexual harassment in our workplaces for good. Although we’ve garnered great support for timeTo in the last year or so, there’s still much work to be done. The shocking results of our latest survey, conducted in June 2019, prove that. We asked 1,000 people working in timeTo endorser companies, organisations that have signed up to timeTo’s code of conduct, about their experiences of sexual harassment.
Altogether, 42% of respondents have either experienced or witnessed sexual harassment while at work in our industry. For 9% of those, it happened within the past year. Just under half of those people had been harassed at least once, while 5% have been harassed six or more times.
What’s more, our research showed that too many incidents of sexual harassment go unreported, often for fear of repercussions or, perhaps more surprisingly, because of a lack of knowledge on how to report inappropriate behaviour. In fact, when we looked at the survey results, we were struck by people’s confusion around sexual harassment in the workplace. A huge 45% of timeTo’s respondents called for clearer guidance on the issue from their employers.
Information leads to empowerment
When we saw that statistic, we knew what we had to do to take timeTo a step further. We were determined to fill that education and awareness gap, knowing that information would lead to empowerment, which would lead to more people helping to end sexual harassment. Importantly, we wanted to create a safe and non-judgemental space in which issues could be discussed and people could be heard. This is a sensitive issue.
This month, we’re launching timeTo group training sessions. We’re going to get out into the industry, with our expert trainers leading interactive and informative sessions. Our hope is that everybody in the industry will experience timeTo training so that we can all get on the same page regarding sexual harassment. We all need to be able to identify when behaviour crosses the line and what to do when it does. The way to achieve that is via education, to empower us to role model good behaviour, and to call out bad behaviour if it happens.
I’ve been working in HR for over 20 years and sadly I’ve seen various cases of sexual harassment along the way. Sexual harassment isn’t particular to our industry, of course. From banking to entertainment, we know that this poison has infected too many industries. But we in adland have a chance to lead the way in stamping out sexual harassment by educating ourselves on the issue and then taking informed action as necessary. Let’s all work together to create inclusive, non-toxic environments where everyone has a chance to thrive.
timeTo training sessions are designed for up to 15/20 people in organisations in advertising and marketing. Each session lasts for three hours and includes guidance on sexual harassment, the legal position on sexual harassment, and how to report inappropriate behaviour. To find out more, including pricing, email email@example.com
All proceeds raised from timeTo’s training sessions will be put back into timeTo to help the campaign to continue its vital work.
Any company wishing to support timeTo should sign-up as an endorser via the timeTo website: http://timeto.org.uk/