TimeTo ad warns of sexual harassment at Christmas parties
The Lucky Generals work gives leaders the tools to tackle abuse
17 November 2022
Ahead of the first true post-Covid Christmas party season, timeTo and Lucky Generals have relaunched the hard-hitting and uncomfortable short film asking witnesses of sexual harassment where they “draw the line”.
To help tackle this on going issue, as well as the film release, timeTo is giving senior leaders advice on how to protect their staff and help witnesses of sexual harassment call it out.
● CEOs need to set the tone. Don’t allow harassment to go unchecked on your watch. Leadership can send out an email the week before parties to all staff, clearly stating that they hope everyone has a wonderful time but at the same time restating that everyone deserves to feel safe and happy.
● The bystander issue is complex and multi-layered. Bystanders themselves can be deeply upset by the behaviour they witness, yet they feel disempowered or afraid to speak up for fear of reprisal.
○ Ensure you are creating a culture where people feel comfortable calling out or reporting this behaviour without fear, reprehension or worse, adversely affecting their careers.
○ Urge witnesses to find someone they trust and speak up - if in doubt, speak to NABS. Staff need to be left in no doubt that their CEO is on their side, and wants people to report inappropriate behaviour.
○ Help them to realise that bystander intervention is enormously important in helping prevent sexual harassment.
● Have a written policy that you make transparently available to your staff. Staff need to know what to do and who to talk to, and the likely course of events following any reported incident. If you do not have a sexual harassment policy, you can find a template in the timeTo Endorser toolkit.
● Encourage staff to support the person who is being harassed by acknowledging the inappropriate behaviour, offering their support to the person who has experienced it, and being prepared to report what they have seen.
● Ensure you have a clear way of communicating to staff the ways in which they can report sexual harassment, by referring them to your agencies policy and HR. And If they don’t trust anyone in their organisation or if they are not sure what to do, we would urge them to call NABS for support and confidential advice.
The film is shot from the point of view of a young worker at a noisy Christmas party. The camera stays trained on him for the whole ad as he witnesses (just off camera), but doesn’t stop, a senior colleague aggressively sexually harassing a female colleague.
The harasser continues to cajole and coerce the clearly uninterested and increasingly distraught woman until she gets pressured to go and dance. The bystander seemingly gets more and more irritated throughout the film, but through each inappropriate interaction fails to say anything. An uncomfortable, but sadly for many, relatable watch.
The campaign asks ‘Where do you draw the line?’
You can view the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0j7FENw3KE
The film is available to watch across social and digital channels from November 15th.
Kerry Glazer, Chair, timeTo, said: “It’s been three years since people have been able to truly enjoy Christmas parties together. Now it’s crucial that we create more awareness around sexual harassment within the workplace. We’re encouraging witnesses to this unwanted behaviour to call it out - either in the moment or at a time afterwards when they feel comfortable to, and to point out to the harasser that their behaviour is inappropriate or offensive. We need to offer support for them to realise that bystanders are enormously important in helping prevent sexual harassment from being seen as acceptable behaviour – or being repeated.”
Helen Calcraft, Founding Partner, Lucky Generals, said: “But this can only happen if companies and senior teams set the tone for what is appropriate and inappropriate at Christmas gatherings. It is vital that CEOs understand how to talk to and educate their staff about sexual harassment. People deserve to be safe and not leave a party feeling diminished, bullied, coerced or upset.”