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Effective Executive Magazine:
Reducing Sexual Harassment at Workplace†
 
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This paper describes an emerging change in the environment of organizations. Sexual harassment, typically by men of women, exists in every country, with rates exceeding 75% of women experiencing sexual harassment in some countries. Recent events in the US have moved issues of sexual harassment to the front burner, with workplace examples now being reported in the media on an almost daily basis. The emerging #MeToo movement has fostered these changes. Women are now reporting sexual harassment experiences. Harassers are increasingly being terminated. Workplaces that ignore harassment experiences are seeing their reputations decline. More workplaces are now addressing issues of sexual harassment. However, it is too early to determine whether these initiatives will continue and have the desired effects. The paper offers suggestions for preventing workplace sexual harassment.

   
As Bob Dylan, American folk singer,sang a while back “The time’s they are a changing”. This manuscript reviews a potentially major change in the leadership and workplace landscape—the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault in organizations.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault have been a worldwide phenomenon for centuries. Several women, particularly in the US, undertook research and writing in this area about 25 to 30 years ago (e.g., McKinnon, 1979; Gutek and Morasch, 1982; and Licata and Popovich, 1987). But nothing happened as a result. Sexual harassment and sexual assaults continue at workplaces to this day. Research and writing on sexual harassment has continued since these early days and seems to be slightly increasing. Organizations are responsible for offering all employees a safe environment.