The PRCA has announced that it will take decisive action against members who fail to address allegations of sexual harassment, reflecting its commitment to promoting ethical and professional standards.
This announcement comes after joint research conducted by PRCA, PRWeek, and Women in PR, revealing that 25% of respondents have experienced some sort of sexual harassment in the last year, with 9% saying they have been sexually harassed in the last month.
When asked who had committed this behaviour, 31% said that it was a senior person in their organisation but not their line manager. 20% said it was a colleague, and 15% said it was a client.
Only 25% of respondents reported the behaviour.
66% of organisations did not act when an incident of sexual harassment was reported. 42% said they were happy with the action taken.
Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA said:
“The PRCA expects the highest levels of conduct from our members, and as we have proved, we take decisive action on the rare occasions when members fall short of ethical and professional standards.
“Put simply, any corporate member that fails to take seriously allegations of sexual harassment will not remain a member for long; nor will individual practitioners found guilty of sexual harassment. Our matchmaker referral service for new business already makes judgements about which briefs we will and will not handle, and we would turn away any briefs where we know that clients have behaved inappropriately.”
The PRCA recently established a working group on sexual harassment to discuss ways in which the industry can address this issue. The industry should actively condemn this sort of behaviour and we call on the industry to get involved in our working group. To get involved, please email Neha.Khatwani@prca.org.uk.