Only 50% of companies have a committee to address sexual harassment: Social Access study

02 Dec,2013

By  A Correspondent

 

> 88% of employees feel that senior management genuinely support equality between men and women employees

> Yet 60% of women feel their commitment to the organization would be questioned if they opted for a flexible work arrangement.

> Only 50% of companies have a committee to address sexual harassment

 

These are a few of the findings from a survey on ‘gender equality in the workplace’ conducted by Social Access Communications among 130 mid-to-senior-level professionals from the advertising and media fraternity in Mumbai during October, 2013.

 

The findings of the survey were revealed on the day of the workshop ‘Men are from Venus, Women are from Mars’ hosted by Population First, on November 29 in Mumbai. The workshop is supported by UNFPA and designed and managed by Social Access Communications.

 

The survey stated that while 88% of employees feel that senior management genuinely supports equality between men and women employees, more men than women respondents believe so.

 

“By and large the advertising industry treats men and women fairly, and that is a heartening piece of news. However, there is significant scope for improvement as far as sensitivity towards sexual innuendo is concerned,” said Lynn de Souza, the founder of Social Access Communications, the knowledge partners for the workshop.

 

23% of men and women feel organizations make assumptions about people’s capabilities based on gender, age, pregnancy and family commitments.

 

As far as flexibility of work is concerned 60% of women feel their commitment would be questioned if they opted for flexible work hours, while only 35% of men feel they can actively consider a flexible work option. 55% of people feel they have not been encouraged to apply for other positions in the organization.

 

“This stresses the fact that both men and women should benefit from greater flexibility in the work hours,” pointed out Ms de Souza.

 

The most disturbing statistic that came out of this survey was that only 50% of companies in the advertising and media world have a committee to address sexual harassment, even though it is now required by law. Nine per cent of employees, both men and women, have faced inappropriate sexual contact at the workplace. Further still, 17% of people have observed someone else in the organization being sexually harassed. Interestingly, men have responded that they are ‘uncertain’ about what construes sexual harassment.

 

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