3 commitments companies must make to curb sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace has been thrust back into the spotlight after a University of Witwatersrand (Wits) professor was dismissed and found guilty of sexually harassing three female colleagues.

On Tuesday, 702 caller Mandisa relayed her experience of victimisation since reporting sexual harassment at her office.

Associate professor at Wits Law Bonita Meyersfeld says organisations need to address the following in order to root out sexual harassment:

1. education:

Meyersfeld advises that the concept of sexual harassment is highly misunderstood and often reduced to one extreme outcome.

She explains that it can be a process of becoming undermined that is experienced in different ways.

When most people think of sexual harassment, they think of a malicious perpetrator who physically assaults a woman in the workplace. It's much more nuanced than that.

Bonita Meyersfeld, associate professor at Wits Law

2. leadership:

Meyersfeld stresses that management need to give instructions from the top in order for the organisational culture to reflect its no-tolerance stance.

3. accountability:

She maintains that there needs to be consequences in the workplace for sexual harassment.

Meyersfeld advocates for a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment in the workplace.

She explains that ignoring sexual harassment compromises organisations and can have severe costs.

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