A disturbing new study into the UK advertising and marketing industries has painted a bleak picture around the levels of sexual harassment of young, female employees.
The study, commissioned by Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL), found that 20 per cent of women aged 18-24 working in the industry reported having been sexually harassed, while the number was five per cent for men.
Of the 3500 respondents to the survey, those who said they had been harassed, some 72 per cent said it had happened on more than one occasion, while 25 per cent admitted it had happened on six occasions or more.
While those who did report some level of harassment, 80 per cent said it was perpetrated by someone senior to them.
However, the study admitted that office harassment fell under a broad spectrum and could include anything from “harmless banter” to actual physical assault.
WACL also revealed it had devised a Code Of Conduct for the industry to better identify sexual harassment and how to deal with it when it occurs. Already agencies including BBH London, Havas London and Karmarama have endorsed the Code, as has had TV broadcaster ITV.
Commenting on the study’s findings, WACL president Kerry Glazer (main photo) said: “These are sobering findings.
“What we hope in publicising this code and getting it endorsed where possible is that it is acted on in the most senior levels. If the C-suite sets the tone for the rest of the company and it becomes part of their harassment policy, then they are making a statement this behaviour is not to be tolerated.”