Looking to turn the #MeToo movement into further palpable change, Survivors’ Network has created a pledge for local businesses and organisations to sign up to in order to demonstrate the active work they are undertaking to challenge sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.
Prominent local community members Caroline Lucas (Co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales) and Sarah Springford (Director of the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce) have signed a letter in support of the project, stating:
We, the undersigned, recognise that we are in a significant historical moment regarding sexual harassment. We wish to harness this cultural shift to create lasting change, turning the initial important conversations into actions that will help us to build a better, safer and kinder city.
We support the new Over To You Kitemark, launched by Survivors’ Network here in Brighton & Hove, that calls on all local businesses and organisations to take the necessary steps to protect their staff and customers. The Kitemark will be awarded to those who sign a five-point pledge that lays out practical ways that they will address sexual harassment. The points are as follows:
* Maintain a healthy and respectful environment free from discrimination based on gender to include all employees, customers, clients and others.
* Not tolerate any form of sexual harassment or sexual violence including images or sayings which may objectify or degrade a group of people within the workplace or at any company-sponsored events.
*Immediately and respectfully respond to every claim of sexual harassment or sexual violence by an employee or client regardless of the victim’s gender or previous claims of harassment or violence, and ensure staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately.
*Maintain and actively review a sexual harassment/sexual violence policy for employees, and provide a copy of this to Survivors’ Network.
*Regularly discuss protocol for reporting sexual harassment/sexual violence with employees.
This simple list of promises should already be a priority for businesses in Brighton & Hove, so we are calling on the city to show that we will lead the way in tackling sexual harassment head on.
We support Survivors’ Network in saying “We’ve said Me Too – now it’s Over To You”.
Businesses and organisations are expected to demonstrate that their staff have received appropriate training, and can book Survivors’ Network training for staff, managers and HR professionals if needs be. There is a small charge for the Kitemark to cover admin costs.
Signatories of the pledge will be required to renew every three years, providing evidence of any changes made to their policies. A full list of businesses certified with the kitemark will be displayed on the Survivors’ Network website.
While the kitemark does not guarantee no sexual harassment will take place, it ensures better safeguards will be in place and, hopefully, that staff will be better prepared to believe and support survivors.
For more information, including how your organisation can sign up to the receive the Over To You kitemark, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.