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She is your colleague. Let’s make sure she is safe

She is your colleague. Let’s make sure she is safe

Mark.Freed / 22 Apr 2021

She is your colleague. Let’s make sure she is safe.

Safety is a big deal in many ways: Physical safety from harassment or assault. Psychological safety to challenge things that get in the way of equality of opportunity and your feeling of belonging at work. Interventions when you fear a colleague is a victim of domestic violence.

One of the main hopes in building inclusive cultures at work is to support the feeling of safety for members of under-represented groups. This isn’t only an issue for women.

In this blog, we are focusing on how we, and in particular men in the majority group, can act to protect the physical safety of our colleagues: In the office late at night, out on site, when travelling and attending meetings and conferences. We are discussing this now because so many men asked how they could support women after so many women talked about their everyday experiences and fears at the time of the terrible abduction and murder of Sarah Everard.

Suggestions include ensuring:

  • More than one person attends client meetings that happen outside work
  • Female colleagues are not asked to deliver documents to clients in bars and clubs
  • Women stay in hotels near the office or conference they are travelling for work (even if this affects the travel budget)

When asking men to think about the physical safety of women a particular challenge arises. That of not infantalising women or positioning them as weaker than men. We suggest that you ask your colleagues what makes them feel physically unsafe and what will help to safeguard them. Maybe make this a direct question asked from time to time in one-to-one meetings with members of your team.

For more discussion with peers about creating a safe environment, in all ways, for members of under-represented groups, join us on Tuesday 4th May at 6.00 – 6.45PM




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