Weinstein scandal fails to prompt radical overhaul of harassment and sexual misconduct policies, poll finds

London, 30 January 2018 – The fallout from the highly-publicised sexual harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein have failed to lead to a sweeping overhaul of harassment and sexual misconduct policies in the UK as organisations consider current policies to be adequate, a poll out today from ICSA: The Governance Institute and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership finds.

Less than a fifth (13%) of the organisations polled are reviewing their harassment and sexual misconduct policies and almost four-fifths (71%) are not. A further 15% of company secretaries polled were unclear.

Summarising the findings, Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at ICSA: The Governance Institute says:

‘In one respect it is extremely positive that so few respondents indicated that changes would be made to deal with harassment and sexual misconduct. This seems to point to a high level of confidence in existing codes of conduct, Dignity at Work and grievance policies, whistleblowing policies and disciplinary procedures. That said, the 15% that do not know, should endeavour to find out.

‘As we saw in our recent survey of FTSE 350 company secretaries for our Winter 2017 FT-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether report, 52% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied that their board felt current policies and guidelines on sexual harassment in the workplace were fit for purpose, but 33% of respondents to that survey did not know. Given the level of reputational risk that has been highlighted, if the matter has not yet been discussed at board level, it probably should be.’

Jon Moores, Managing Director & Recruitment Partner at The Core Partnership adds:

‘As a recruiter, it is extremely important that the people who we are seeking to place have confidence that the organisations they will be joining can offer them a safe and secure environment in which to work. In light of the infamous President’s Club and the like, policy needs to be aligned with real workplace culture. Therefore, it’s not enough just to have policies in place; all employees must feel confident and safe in coming forward when there are incidents of harassment or sexual misconduct.’

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For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:

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Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With over 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.
    Website: www.icsa.org.uk
  2. The Core Partnership is a niche market recruitment consultancy working with Company Secretaries and their teams to advise on and resource their specialist interim and permanent manpower needs. With relevant professional backgrounds spanning back to the 1980s, The Core Partnership has a wealth of knowledge of the development and dimensions of the role of the Company Secretary. The team provides market advice on relevant qualifications and experience, conducts salary and benchmarking exercises and works throughout the UK and overseas recruiting at all levels to this specific discipline.
    Website: www.core-partnership.co.uk 
  3. Previous ICSA-Core poll findings can be found at www.icsa.org.uk/knowledge/governance-and-compliance/indepth/comment/quick-question 
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