More than a third of women in backstage roles have experienced sexual harassment – report

Following the survey, entertainment union BECTU has published a guide to dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. Photo: Shutterstock
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More than a third of women working in backstage roles have experienced sexual harassment, a survey by entertainment union BECTU has found.

The findings have prompted the publication of a workplace guide to dealing with sexual harassment.

More than 7,000 members took part in the survey. Of the respondents, 35% of women had experienced sexual harassment, rising to 62% of younger women. BECTU members include workers from theatre, broadcasting, cinema and other areas of entertainment.

The guide, produced with BECTU’s parent union Prospect, explains that male-dominated workforces and working arrangements such as zero-hours contracts can leave employees vulnerable.

It also advises people who have been affected by sexual harassment on the steps they should take, which begin with getting expert advice from a union representative and talking to a manager before making a formal complaint.

Additionally, the resource contains general information on the law in relation to harassment, and contains action points for employers to improve their policy on sexual harassment.

Gerry Morrissey, head of BECTU, said in the report: “It’s clear to us that there have been too many excuses, for too long. That’s why we’re working with major organisations such as BFI, BAFTA, PACT and now the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre to agree on an approach that ensures bullying and harassment will not be tolerated in the creative industries. Core principles have been established, and we’re now talking to employers and working with our branches to ensure those principles take centre stage in every workplace.”