Sexual harassment and Compliance Management: A fatal affair

Before #metoo women thought that sexual harassment was just this one bad story that had happened to them: shocking, confusing, better to just forget about it.

Organizations also thought that it was just the occasional case: Annoying, complicated, tricky to deal with, you do not want to know.

After #metoo, organizations and women had to realize, that sexual harassment is endemic. It happens all the time, to everyone and it is systemic especially for cultures that are

  • male dominated,
  • hyper competitive, and
  • forgiving when it comes to bad behavior.

In a nutshell, corporate cultures that are characterized by fear and where ethical problems are swept under the carpet of organizational silence.

Exactly that kind of culture a good management of ethics and compliance wants to avoid at all costs!

Consequently, my thesis here is:  

Companies that have a system in place that effectively deals with sexual harassment, will also significantly improve their integrity culture.

This is why compliance managers need to get the topic out of the taboo zone and deal with it proactively.

Let me explain why:

If companies want to create a robust culture of integrity where speaking up on ethical challenges is save and worthwhile, they need to take care of organizational justice.

Only if I have the impression that my company deals fairly with its coworkers, I will have the psychological safety to speak up on sensitive issues. Sexual harassment is an extremely unfair behavior that keeps women small and deprives them of a work environment where they are treated as equals.

A company that tolerates sexual harassment or that does not deal with it in a decisive way, jeopardizes the perception of fairness and organizational justice and thus also drives ethical issues in general into the underground.

If a company does not take care of safeguarding its employees from being harassed, all talk about ethics and compliance becomes less credible.

Find out more about the challenges and best-practice of building a comprehensive framework for the prevention of sexual harassment within your ethics and compliance management in my next blog post.

0 Kommentare

Einen Kommentar abschicken

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert

WordPress Cookie Hinweis von Real Cookie Banner