Survey suggests London workers afraid to report sexual harassment at work

Shares in London closed down on Monday (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Shares in London closed down on Monday (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

One in ten London workers say that they have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at work, but most of those employees did not report it, a survey has found.

A survey of 2,000 UK workers commissioned by Personio found that choosing not to report harassment was more common in the capital than the UK as a whole, with 54% in London choosing not to compared to a little under half for the wider UK.

It also found that four in ten Londoners feel worried about retaliation or retribution if they were to report an issue.

Meanwhile, three in ten said that they believe going to the media would likely be a better way to solve issues than raising them to their management team. Only 62% of employees feel confident that sensitive workplace misconduct situations would be treated properly and fairly by their organisation.

The research comes as City firms continue to face questions about treatment of women. A report from the Treasury Committee last month found that sexism in the City is “still rife”, with efforts to improve the culture moving at “a snail’s pace”.

Pete Cooper, director of people partners & DEI at Personio, said: “The extent of workplace misconduct is worrying, and the rate at which these go unreported is even more so. It’s clear that having whistleblowing channels in place is only one small part of the puzzle to make workplaces safer.

“A workplace culture that prioritises trust and transparency is critical. People need to understand that these reporting processes exist, feel safe using them, and have trust in their organisation to listen to and act on their concerns.”