timeTo steps up action against sexual harassment


Following new Credos research, the advertising industry’s anti-sexual harassment initiative launches a toolkit, training and refreshed ad campaign

timeTo has today published new research by Credos, the UK advertising industry think tank, which shows one in 10 respondents from timeTo endorsing companies have experienced sexual harassment during the past 12 months.

79% of respondents who had been sexually harassed never reported the incident and 46% of the people surveyed said their company would benefit from very clear sexual harassment guidelines and policies.

In response the findings, timeTo is launching an extensive toolkit for all endorsing companies, committing to a refreshed ‘Where Do You Draw The Line?’ campaign this winter and making a new training programme available for Q1 2020.

The new timeTo toolkit is for use by all endorsing companies with materials developed specifically for leadership teams, HR departments and company staff. timeTo will be asking all 232 companies who have now endorsed the initiative to download the toolkit over the next three months and to implement it across the business over the following three-month period.

In addition, timeTo is planning to run ‘Where Do You Draw The Line?’ campaign activity across the Christmas period as it works to ensure everyone working in the UK advertising industry can enjoy safe festive celebrations. Alongside this, a training programme led by NABS is in development to raise awareness, educate employees and drive cultural change. The training will launch in Q1 2020 and will be available to companies to run in-house or at NABS in its central London offices.

Commenting on the news, Diana Tickell, Chief Executive of NABS, said: “The sad truth is that sexual harassment continues in our industry and we are determined to do everything to put a stop to it. We need all of our endorsing companies to play their part in ensuring everyone has a safe workplace and that, in the event of sexual harassment, people feel confident to report it with the certainty that action will be taken.”

Credos surveyed 1,114 people from timeTo endorsing companies, with results revealing that 31% of those experiencing sexual harassment ‘ignored’ the incident, while 11% had witnessed sexual harassment happening to others. 14% of female respondents aged 18-24 had experienced sexual harassment in that past 12 months. Almost a third of respondents called for training on how to deal with sexual harassment.

Karen Fraser, Director, Credos, said: “While awareness levels of timeTo and the ‘Where Do You Draw The Line?’ campaign are good, it’s clear that sexual harassment is still happening in our industry, as recently as in the past 12 months. Most victims are not officially reporting sexual harassment and this has to change. Our industry needs a new set of tools and resources to help put an end to sexual harassment.”

The toolkit, built by specialists in mental health and wellbeing at NABS, comprises:

  • Email templates – for leadership on the business reasons for timeTo, for HR on embedding the code, for managers on where responsibility lies, and all staff communications on what timeTo is and why it is being endorsed by the company

  • An annual planner for a company to map out high-risk areas on its calendar where combination of social activities, alcohol and overnight stays are more likely scenarios for sexual harassment risk

  • One-pagers – for management and HR on the legal risks around sexual harassment, for all staff on what sexual harassment is including a clear list of inappropriate behaviours, for people who’ve been harassed on what to do including how to contact NABS, for witnesses of sexual harassment on how to report it and for people who believe they have been wrongly accused

  • A specially developed sexual harassment policy insert to enable organisations to better include the code in their company policies

  • A timeTo Endorser deck for leadership to present to all staff meetings

  • timeTo Endorser signature banner and sticker logo for corporate websites

A full list of companies endorsing timeTo, including IAB UK, is available on the timeTo website where you can also find out more about the timeTo initiative.

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