Sexual harassment at work can happen anywhere, to anyone.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment at work can affect influencers just as much as people working in more traditional workplaces.
In fact, more and more influencers are reporting that they are being sexually harassed.
A recent BBC news investigation revealed that social media influencers are being contacted every day by strangers offering thousands of pounds in exchange for sex.
That’s a clear and overt example of sexual harassment. But sexual harassment takes many other different forms; it’s not always as easy to spot. What one person considers to be a harmless comment can be hurtful to someone else. You might try to brush off bad behaviour, while feeling upset on the inside.
As an influencer, you should expect to feel safe wherever you work. Whether it’s on your Instagram or appearing at a live event, you should always be treated professionally and with respect.
What is timeTo and how can it help you?
TimeTo is the campaign to stamp out sexual harassment in the advertising and marketing industry. It was formed in 2018 by NABS, the support organisation for advertising and media professionals, in partnership with the Advertising Association and Women in Advertising Communications London (WACL) in response to evidence revealing the scale of sexual harassment across the industry.
Overall, the campaign aims to clarify what constitutes sexual harassment and what should be done when it happens.
Central to timeTo is its Code of Conduct, which has been created to give clear guidance on all aspects of sexual harassment. Read the Code to gain an understanding of the issue, and where you can go to turn for more help.
The scale of sexual harassment
The results of our latest survey, conducted in June 2019, demonstrate that an appalling amount of sexual harassment takes place in advertising and marketing workplaces.
We questioned 1,000 people working in timeTo endorser companies – organisations that have signed up to timeTo’s code of conduct – about their experiences of sexual harassment.
In total, 42% of respondents have either experienced or witnessed sexual harassment while at work in advertising and marketing. In total 9% of those have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment within the past year. Just under 50% of those people had been harassed at least once, while 5% have been harassed six or more times.
What’s also upsetting is that so many incidents of sexual harassment go unreported. It’s understandable: people are often afraid of repercussions. What’s surprising is the amount of people who don’t report inappropriate behaviour because they simply don’t know how to. A huge 45% of timeTo’s survey respondents asked for clearer guidance on sexual harassment from their employers.
What can you do if you experience or witness sexual harassment?
Speaking out can be difficult, but it’s so important to report inappropriate behaviour. If you experience or witness sexual harassment, check out http://timeto.org.uk/ for guidance on who to turn to, or contact the BCMA.