Published in Accounting and Business

Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. Practices need to ensure they create a safe environment for staff, starting with putting the right policies and procedures in place. Sally Percy reports

Sexual harassment has been a workplace issue for as long as people have worked. It has grown in prominence over the last year, however, following sexual misconduct allegations against a number of high-profile public figures, starting in Hollywood and gradually permeating across all sectors and continents. The #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns are among the highest-profile social media movements of recent times.

Sexual harassment can blight the accountancy profession as much as any other walk of life. And it seems obvious that if an accountancy firm is perceived to have a culture where sexual harassment is tolerated, or where victims’ complaints are not taken seriously, it risks punitive legal and compensation costs, the loss of talented staff, and long-term damage to its reputation, not to mention the distress caused to the victims.

So what can accountancy firms do to address sexual harassment as part of good practice management?

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