Værktøjer & Materialer / Kønsligestilling

Sexual Harassment – How to Speak Out as a Colleague

In recent years, we have learnt, unfortunately, that sexual harassment in the workplace is not uncommon – and Denmark is no exception. The media has featured hundreds of accounts of employees who have experienced harassment. What many of these accounts have in common is that the harassment has turned out to be part of a workplace culture where it is difficult to speak out against the harasser – especially if you feel you are alone and the harasser happens to be your boss. The majority of employees subjected to sexual harassment therefore needed support and help from colleagues. But it can be hard to know how as a colleague you can make a difference.

We all – employees and managers – contribute to the development of the culture and tone in our workplace. And we can also contribute, albeit unconsciously, to a culture which allows sexual harassment. For example, if we witness harassment but our only response is to think “what an idiot” and say nothing, then we are tacitly accepting a culture of harassment. Everyone therefore has a responsibility. Because if colleagues are more willing to speak up, we will increase the chances of stopping sexual harassment, which potentially can have serious consequences. If colleagues are more willing to speak out against sexual harassment and contribute to a culture free of sexual harassment where employees can have fun without resorting to sexist jokes, then everyone can thrive.
This booklet is a tool to enable you to be a good colleague by speaking out and helping to develop an environment free of sexual harassment. It also discusses the dilemmas that can often arise if you witness sexual harassment and sexist behaviour, and how you can tackle those dilemmas. The booklet is available in Danish and English (as part of an Erasmus+ project).

With the aspiration of harassment-free workplaces,