By now, many employees are familiar with sexual harassment training, be it online or in person. It’s become ubiquitous since 1998, when two Supreme Court cases determined that for a company to avoid liability, it had to show that it had trained employees on its anti-harassment policies. But does it work?
According to research by Justine Tinkler, a sociologist at the University of Georgia http://bit.ly/2my2R4m, the training may inadvertently backfire by reinforcing gender stereotypes. Tinkler, quoted in The New York Times, said “It puts women in a difficult position in terms of feeling confident and empowered in the workplace” because it presents men as powerful and sexually insatiable and women as vulnerable. Other research found that training that described people in a legal context, as harassers or victims, led those being trained to reject it because they didn’t think the labels applied to them.
(Tweet it!) Researchers say training, though essential, is not enough. Companies must reinforce it via culture, by:
What has been your reaction to sexual harassment training? What else does your organization do to discourage inappropriate behavior? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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