#TimesUp on sexual harassment at work – YWT joins lobby of parliament

Young Women’s Trust is lobbying the UK Parliament to end workplace sexual harassment today (Tuesday 5 March), ahead of International Women’s Day, as part of the Centenary Action Group that campaigns for women’s rights.

The protest, which will see women from across the country descending on Westminster, is calling on MPs to:

  • reinstate third-party harassment laws; and
  • introduce a duty on employers to prevent harassment.

Young Women’s Trust recently surveyed 4,000 young people and found that:

  • 15 per cent of young women (some 800,000 young women), have been sexually harassed at work and not reported it – double the number of women who have experienced it and reported it (eight per cent);
  • a third of young women (32 per cent) say they don’t know how to report sexual harassment;
  • one in five young women (18 per cent) say that they are too scared to report sexual harassment at work; and
  • a quarter of young women (24 per cent) would be reluctant to report sexual harassment for fear of losing their job, or fear of being given fewer hours (17 per cent).

The charity’s research also shows that employers are aware of problems in their workplaces that go unreported:

  • one in ten HR professionals in large organisations (defined as those with more than 250 employees) have been aware of formal reports of sexism in their workplace; and
  • 8 per cent are aware of sexual harassment in their workplace that has not been reported.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:

“We have heard a huge number of testimonies from women in all sectors but we are still waiting for action.

“A year on from ‘#metoo’, Young Women’s Trust has found that a quarter of young women fear reporting sexual harassment at work for fear of losing their job or being given fewer hours. A third still don’t know how to report it.

“No woman should feel unsafe at work or unable to say something when she is sexually harassed. This means making it easier to report abuse by customers and clients as well as colleagues, putting in place unbiased reporting processes that do not penalise victims and improving workplace cultures. The Government should make it mandatory for all employers to protect their workers from harassment and victimisation.

“We cannot delay this any longer.”

Notes to editor

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 18-30 in England and Wales trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don’t go to waste.

  2. Figures relating to young people’s views are based on findings from a survey carried out for Young Women’s Trust by Populus Data Solutions. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year olds and 1,115 54-72 year olds in England and Wales, with panel services provided by Populus Live, were surveyed between 29 June-16 July 2018.

  3. Young Women’s Trust commissioned YouGov to carry out a poll of those making employment decisions in 2018. The total sample size was 816 senior HR professionals / people managers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th April – 7th May 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the UK business population by size, sector and region.