Reason for initialisation

In the wake of the global #MeToo movement, South African men and women still face ongoing harassment in the workplace.

  • 30% of women and 18% of men reported having been victims of unwanted sexual advances in the workplace.
  • The harassment comes in many forms, with 15% of those who have experienced harassment reporting the advances are verbal in nature, and 38% admit that it turned physical with unwanted touching. 42% report lustful staring at body parts, and 32% report receiving messages of a sexual nature.
  • 57% of women, and 47% of men claimed that the unwanted advances came from a workplace peer.
  • 26% of women report that a boss or superior is the source of the harassment. For men, it’s the juniors, with 20% of men saying they garner unwanted attention and advances from their subordinates.

Addressing the issue:

  • 39% of men, and 22% of women kept quiet about their abuse.
  • About a third of men (30%) fear that no one will believe them when they make the allegation, while almost a third of women (29%) don’t report it because they don’t believe management will do anything about it.
  • 10% of the harassed fear retaliation if they report the matter.
  • 56% of women and 36% of men confronted their harasser.
  • Only 16% of respondents reported the incident to HR, while 10% of respondents reported it to the authorities.
  • Out of the 24% of respondents witnessing harassment in the workplace, only 34% intervened on the spot. 31% of witnesses confronted the harasser, or reported it to the organisation.

Creating, updating and enforcing policy:

  • 51% of workplaces do not have a clear sexual harassment policy in place.
  • Only 37% of organisations have a clear process to report sexual harassment.
  • 20% of businesses employ a reporting hotline, with another 20% offering training on eliminating sexual harassment in the office.

With South African businesses falling behind in addressing the issue, G&G was briefed by Mexem to create a breakthrough digital campaign that achieved the following,

  1. Made business owners and senior management aware of the problem (possibly existing in their organisations) and to take action to create, update and enforce new policies
  2. Gave victims a supportive space to speak out and to get the support they need.

Campaign objectives

  • Create a safe space where victims can raise awareness of being sexually harassed in the workspace
  • Get influential CEOs and business leaders to get behind the campaign and support a zero-tolerance policy in the workplace
  • Create a repository of support organisations – medical, psychological, legal and police
  • Provide support to victims and drive them to the appropriate support organisation
  • Drive awareness of the initiative so that it can live on beyond the campaign.

Campaign target market

  • Women and men who have been victims of harassment in the workplace.
  • Friends and family of victims who have suffered harassment.
  • All working men and women.
  • Organisations that can assist victims, such as support groups and legal organisations.

Strategic considerations

  1. In such instances, organic engagement would be reduced and could not allow this to impact on reaching as many South African women as possible on a miniscule budget
  2. We also needed to find prominent business leaders with the courage and conviction to get behind the campaign, even if it resulted in a blowout within their own organisations.

Execution

G&G created a sticky and memorable campaign hashtag and then rolled the campaign out in two phases.

#MindYourBusiness

Phase 1

Set up a Facebook community of interest and create awareness of #MindYourBusiness

Create a series of authentic videos featuring CEOs reading victim’s experiences as if its’ their own. The CEOs will make a strong plea to South Africans to take action against workplace harassment using the following key messaging,

  • Business leaders to take a zero-tolerance stance
  • Victims to speak out
  • All South Africans to use the hashtag

Phase 2

Using strong community management and moderation, G&G assisted in ensuring the hashtag went viral and giving it a life of its own. G&G also used Twitter as a listening tool for mentions of the hashtag. G&G moderated, engaged and drove users to the Facebook page.

Details of implementation

Evaluation and results

Time frame of the project: 3 months – February 2019 to April 2019

Number of employees that worked on the project

  • 1 Account Manager
  • 1 Creative Director
  • 1 Copywriter
  • 1 Community Manager
  • 1 Videographer
  • Total: 5

Client testimonial

G&G Digital pulled out all the stops for this campaign and went beyond the scope of the project to get traction and make the campaign a success. I am very satisfied with the results and hope that we made a difference to the 200 victims whose stories were heard and that there is a little more awareness of people’s rights in the workspace.

Itai Liptz

CEO, Mexem

#MindYourBusiness – 2019 – Breakthrough Work