While the evidence that sexual harassment is rife in the film industry in particular has become overwhelming, and other sectors such as fashion and theatre have highlighted problems too, what about the rest of the creative industry? In advertising, senior male industry figures have departed their jobs in undisclosed circumstances while anonymous social media accounts hint at a culture in which such behaviour has been routinely indulged.
Some larger creative agency networks have already responded by strengthening HR functions and introducing whistleblower hotlines but the majority of creative businesses – particularly in design – are much smaller and perhaps lack the resources to address the issue.
For some time, here at CR we have been debating how we can contribute to addressing this problem. As a first step, we want to get a sense of how deep this issue goes, but also how our community is responding to it. Do people feel able to report sexual harassment when it happens? Do they trust their employer to do anything about it? Do they feel confident that agencies and studios have the policies and people in place to deal with the issue in future?
We have set up an anonymous, confidential survey to gauge the level of sexual harassment experienced by our community and to monitor the levels of trust our community has in employers to deal effectively with problems in future.
We would like to invite all our readers to take the survey here and share your experiences. It is entirely anonymous. Our findings will be used to steer further coverage of this topic. There will be no witch hunts – this is an attempt to understand the problem, give a voice to those who have been affected, and think about the best route forward.