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,
- 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
- Gave victims a supportive space to speak out and to get the support they need.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
G&G created a sticky and memorable campaign hashtag and then rolled the campaign out in two phases.
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
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
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
#MindYourBusiness – 2019 – Breakthrough Work