What to undertake as an employer/organization/institution to prevent discrimination, harassment and violence in the professional context?
1. Underline that your organization prioritizes a healthy working environment, respectful working relationships, ethical leadership and that your employees practice zero tolerance towards harassment and violence.
2. Inform all your co-workers about the subject. Avoid taboos and create a culture of openness and transparency. This way you will minimize the risk of victims remaining silent. Invite external organisations and institutions for mandatory workshops on the subject periodically. If you are a director, attend these workshops together with your employees.
3. It is important to create space for discussions without the presence of the people in positions of power. Encourage employees to organize themselves. Engage in open conversations and implement changes where problems arise.
4. Invest in training one or several confidential persons.
5. Inform yourself of the legal context concerning these issues. Make this information visible also to both employees and freelancers you contract. For example, add a paragraph on harassment in all the working contracts. Mention investigation policies and possible penalties or sanctions incurred as a result of transgressions.
6. If despite all, harassment occurs, take the complaints seriously and follow the internal procedures of your institution. Make sure your procedures are in line with the law. Give legal advice and provide psychological support when needed.