Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Should be a Priority. HR Should Take the Lead

Sexual Harassment

The #metoo movement is totally revolutionary. Since women started coming out against sexual predators, regardless of their stature in life, a lot of other women had the courage to also come out and tell their story. As a result, the accused were either placed under investigation or were immediately removed from their job. Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K and Matt Lauer are just among the biggest names we have heard from the news recently.

Aside from these big names, many other women in various workplaces have come out. In fact, even before this movement started, women have already reported their stories. Sadly, they ended up being brushed aside. They were never believed for their claims. Others decided to just remain silent in fears that they will be removed from their jobs.

This has been a systematic problem that was swept aside for generations. One of the main problems is that these women were just told to report to their HR department. The HR then brushes aside the allegations up until the women started to keep quiet. You can change your company’s system if you think you are a part of the problem. Here are some tips to address sexual harassment issues in the workplace.

Start with the HR

HR Department

If the HR department tends to ignore these sexual harassment complaints, they need to be educated. They have to know what steps to undertake to solve the problem or at least let the women be heard. If there really is a systemic problem, change the people in the position. Put more women in the team. Make sure the goal of the HR is to protect the interest of the workers and not just let the problem go away.

HR should have direct link with the CEO

HR is not necessarily the problem in some cases. In as much as they want to take actions regarding the accusations, they end up fearing for their jobs too. Those who are accused are usually in the managerial positions. Others have connections with the top level employees. This is why the HR department should have direct link with the CEO. If they are too afraid to take actions, they should at least have someone neutral or unbiased listening to them. Even if someone really powerful is accused, something can be done about it.

The HR should not be seen as a different entity

The problem with the HR office is it is too separate from the rest of the departments. Employees don’t necessarily have a sense of connection with them. They don’t trust the HR enough to hear their complaints. Others even have issues with HR other than sexual harassment. This should be changed. The HR should be seen as a friendly department. Their job is to protect the employees. They should do their share.

Changing the entire system is really difficult. Sexual harassment issues have gone on for a really long time and they remain a problem. You can start with your own company.

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