#MeToo movement leading to changed behaviours at work: Experts

But preference for anonymity, fewer get-togethers leads to challenges for employers
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/28/2018
Google
A Google employee holds a sign during a “women’s walkout” at the Googleplex offices in Mountain View, Calif., on Nov. 1. The protest was over the company’s treatment of several managers who had allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct. Stephen Lam/Reuters

Just over one year ago, news broke about sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Similar allegations spread quickly as the #MeToo movement gained traction and toppled many leaders.

So, how have employers responded over the past 12 months? One-third of executives say they have altered their actions to avoid behaviours that could be perceived as sexual harassment, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

These include using careful or mindful language (24 per cent), avoiding specific topics or jokes (16 per cent), extreme reactions, such as not talking to women (11 per cent), no touching (nine per cent) and a policy change or new training (six per cent).