Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sexual Harassment - less handwringing

Quite a few long established, in the case of the Catholic Church very long established, institutions seem to be toiling with claims of sexual harassment and the wonderfully cryptic 'inappropriate conduct.' There is lots of arm waving, some justifiable anger but not much in terms of credible solutions. So here is my starter. Sexual harassment at work is wide spread but not universal. What typifies the organisations that seem to be most mired in it right now? Ok here goes, not all will apply in every case but most will;
1) monolithic hierarchies. This enables abusers to exploit their status, and leaves the victims with nowhere turn.
2) progression based on patronage over performance. It is easy to exploit the young and vulnerable if they need the patronage of their senior to progress up a hierarchy where the foot holds are not clear.
3) aggressive macho culture. Organisational cultures that (passively or actively) encourage aggressive alpha male behaviours will reap what they sow.
4) Evil will triumph if good men say nothing. Treating whistleblowers as a problem, and focusing on worrying about the negative PR will encourage cover ups. It will come back and bite you. How Lib Dems must wish the had not given Cyril Smith or Lord Rennard the benefit of the doubt.
5) all lads together- if the senior managers are all blokes have a think about it, and that includes those in the church.