In the wake of #metoo, thousands of women have dared to speak out about the sexual assaults and harassment they have been subjected to in the workplace. In the case of academics, this has been channelled through the call to action, “Akademiuppropet”, which started on Facebook. Lena Lindell is human resources consultant at the University’s central administration.
How big is the problem at LU?
“We have only registered a few reports, but we don’t know how many cases have gone unrecorded.”
What is the University doing to counteract sexual harassment?
“We have procedures and regulations in place. Managers have an obligation to ensure that reported cases of harassment are investigated, rectified and followed up promptly. For this purpose, there is clear support for managers on the website called “Handling and investigating cases of harassment and sexual harassment”. Since the spring, the Division of Human Resources has been out in the organisation educating managers and HR staff about how to work preventively against all forms of discrimination and victimisation, including sexual harassment.”
What do we need to improve?
“Our procedures need to be more widely known. Students in particular need a clearer indication of where they can turn to if they are violated and the support they can receive. A group has been set up at LU to make the information easier to find. All LU staff also need to be aware that they must pass on information if a student or member of staff report sexual harassment. Members of staff are obligated to report this to their immediate manager.”
To whom should you register a report in the case of sexual harassment?
“You should report it to your manager, who is often a head of department. Students are also to register the report with the head of their department, but they can also turn to the student ombudsman. The matter can then be referred to the Disciplinary Board or Staff Disciplinary Board. However, if the offence is of such a serious nature that it may come under the penal code, it is of course to be reported to the police. It is important to remember that we are not a part of the judiciary – we neither investigate crime nor mete out punishment.