Social media has become a repository for sexual harassment allegations to such an extent that even high-profile figures have suffered the consequences.
Some social media platforms encourage employees to post these kinds of complaints anonymously, but can this help to resolve the issues?
Understanding sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is not just a matter of unwanted contact such as touching, kissing or even assault. It also includes a workplace made uncomfortable by co-workers who use sexually charged language, computer images or jokes to attract attention.
Finding an outlet
Some employees who experience sexual harassment take to venting on social media platforms. Some platforms actually encourage the posting of anonymous complaints about toxic workplace environments. Employees may come to such sites because they believe they have nowhere else to turn. However, though more people affected by sexual harassment may come forward because they can do so anonymously on social media, investigators cannot act unless they know who is making the complaint.
Employers are responsible for preventing incidents of sexual harassment and maintaining a working environment that is free from hostility. However, co-workers are not the only perpetrators of sexually offensive behavior. Employees cite unwanted advances from supervisors, managers or even customers.
Social media platforms work well if the only goal of an upset or irate employee is to vent about the toxic effects of sexual harassment in the workplace. However, actual change comes about when the affected employee goes through the proper channels to report the incident. It is important to rely on those who take such a complaint seriously and are in a position to help.