Welsh Women’s Aid is marking International Women’s Day by launching its #NoGreyArea campaign as new survey data shows that four out of five women in Wales have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work.
Welsh Women’s Aid, the national charity in Wales working to end domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women, is launching its #NoGreyArea campaign, which calls out toxic workplace environments where sexual harassment can flourish. This comes as a survey revealed that four out of five women in Wales have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. The vast majority of women who responded to the survey experienced harassment on more than one occasion and from more than one person in their workplace.
“Women who have experienced sexual harassment at work often talk about the frustration of the ‘grey area’ they feel they are trapped in; that speaking up about unwanted behaviour would either negatively escalate the situation or have severe impacts on their jobs and livelihoods,” said Welsh Women’s Aid Chief Executive Sara Kirkpatrick. “Everyone deserves the right to work in an environment free from harassment. We need to shine a spotlight on the insidious ‘grey area culture’ that allows sexual harassment to continue and put an end to workplace sexual harassment once and for all.”
Supporting the campaign is comedian and writer, Kiri Pritchard-McLean. “Having seen first-hand the impact of sexual harassment on women and non-binary people in the comedy circuit, I felt it was really important to back Welsh Women’s Aid’s #NoGreyArea campaign. Whether you work in an office or a bar, whether you are a politician or a stand-up comedian, sexual harassment impacts us all,” said Pritchard-McLean. “I hope that by exposing the ‘grey area’ dynamic and highlighting how pervasive an issue this is in Wales, more women will feel empowered to speak-up against unwanted behaviour and more men will realise why sexual harassment at work is completely unacceptable.”
The survey by Welsh Women’s Aid also found that over 60% of perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment were those in a managerial or more senior role. The most common types of harassment are comments made of a sexual nature; however, 60% of women said they had experienced unwanted physical touch and over 50% of women were told that conversations that made them feel uncomfortable at work were ‘jokes’ or ‘banter’.
Anyone in Wales who is experiencing sexual harassment, domestic abuse, sexual violence or other forms of violence against women or is concerned about someone else can contact the 24-hour Live Fear Free Helpline (phone: 0808 80 10 800, webchat, text: 07860 077333, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) for confidential help and support.