Five Ways Employers Can Prevent Sexual Harassment

Five Ways Employers Can Prevent Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse are serious crimes. Thirty-eight percent of women and fourteen percent of men have reported sexual harassment at work. In some industries, more than 9 in 10 women have experienced sexual harassment. Employers should take all types of sexual abuse seriously and have strategic prevention measures in place. Here are five ways employers can prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

1. Take a Stance

In leadership, it is essential to take a stance on important issues such as sexual harassment. Let your employees know where you stand on this issue, and do not be afraid to remind them. Here are four ways you can take a stance.


  1. Include a no-tolerance sexual harassment policy in your handbook. 
  2. Have extensive training so your employees know the different types of harassment. 
  3. Create signs or informational posters regarding this topic to post in common areas.  
  4. Have annual workshops or guest speakers events. 

2. Create a Supportive and No Tolerance Culture

You set the tone of your work environment and culture. Create a dynamic that lets employees know they are valued and heard. Here are a few things you can do to enforce this type of climate in your workplace culture:

Five Ways Employers Can Prevent Sexual Harassment

Have an Open Door Policy

Let your employees know you are available and will make time for them, whether regarding their concerns or just to say hello.

Build Rapport

Build rapport by asking employees how things are going in and outside work. Get to know them on an appropriate and personal level. This will make it easier for employees to open up if they have sensitive questions or concerns. 

Follow Up With Employees 

Have regular follow-ups with your staff. Surveys or in-person meetings are great ways to learn what employees think and feel about their work environment and leaders. You can ask questions such as, “Has anyone or anything ever made you feel uncomfortable while working.” You can also have employees submit anonymous feedback. 

3. Promote Equity

Women are more likely to experience sexual harassment and are less likely to be represented or heard in the workplace. Does your company support women in higher positions? Are you working hard to close the gender equity gap? Taking great strides to support women will help reduce sexual harassment workplace stats.

4. Additional Training

Employees should be regularly trained on essential topics. Some employers do the bare minimum (state requirements) when training employees on discrimination and harassment. Sitting your trainee in front of a screen to watch a few videos on sexual harassment at the beginning of their employment is not the best way to help them retain information. Research has concluded repetition is a great way to keep critical data, so offer mandatory training throughout your employees’ careers. 

5. Bystander Training

Another great way to prevent or address sexual harassment is to offer mandatory bystander intervention training. The idea of bystander intervention training is to counteract the bystander effect and equip employees with the skills to intervene when they witness harassment or discrimination in the workplace before it is too late. This is a great tool to prevent sexual harassment at work.

Five Ways Employers Can Prevent Sexual Harassment

More Help

Sexual Harassment is a very sensitive topic and can be challenging to discuss. If your company needs support creating policies, procedures, and more, do not hesitate to reach out. We are here for you.

Five Ways Employers Can Prevent Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Workplace Resources

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