Everyday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates has urged people to call out unacceptable behaviour in the workplace, warning delegates at the Elman Wall Travel Directors’ Summit that “everyone has a role to play” in tackling sexual harassment in the workplace.
It came as Bates cited recent statistics from YouGov, which found that over half of women still experience sexual harassment in the workplace.
Bates discussed the #MeToo movement, insisting said real change would need to come from the government but she said everyone has a role to play in “disrupting the normalisation” of everyday sexism or harassment.
“What happens next will involve a cultural shift. We need to see some political will, and not just strong words,” she said. “But everybody has a role to play – not turning a blind eye is vital. Call it out if you see something that’s not ok,” she added. “Disrupt the idea that these things are normal.”
Speaking to TTG later on, Bates added: “We know that this is a really prevalent issue in business today as well as wider society.
“I think businesses are starting to recognise the importance of tackling this and realise there really is a clear business case for it in terms of the good of companies and the wellbeing of employees.
“But I still think we have a long way to go to see real change in order for survivors to be supported in the workplace and the problem to be eradicated in the first place.”
It came as Elman Wall claimed a UK travel industry first by featuring an all-female line-up at the summit.
Bates praised Elman Wall for the move, adding: “This isn’t about the excluding men but you wouldn’t blink an eye if you saw an all-male line-up.
“This is about putting the spotlight on women and women’s voices, in this year, which has been about listening to women who have previously been silenced."