Sexual Harassment is an unpleasant issue. Irrespective of various measures taken by the UK Government, it is still prevalent in the workplace. A survey conducted in January last year revealed that 81% women and 43% of men have experienced sexual harassment in some form at their workplace, whereas about 75% of sexual harassment cases go unreported. Some victims fear retaliation about speaking up and whilst others can be afraid that people will not believe them or their claim will not be taken seriously.
People who are working in low wage jobs are often victims of sexual harassment but do not speak up and report it to the management since they may feel they lack sufficient bargaining power. Aside from the fact that in male dominated workplaces and organisations, female victims are unsure if their experience would be considered sexual harassment or not sexual comments or ‘banter’ are fairly common in work cultures and so they are afraid of making a fool of themselves.
Technology is being used to break the barriers with chatbots enabled with Artificial Intelligence. AI chatbots could help reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.
1. Some Chatbots Are Anonymous
Some chatbots, for example Spot, can assist in filing a report of sexual harassment enabling people to give their details without revealing their names. Spot allows you to create a secure and signed PDF of incidents that occurred so people can use it as soon as something happens. This lets them share the experience when the specifics are still fresh in their minds. It is not mandate that the user provide their personal details or email ID when sending a report to concerned authority. They can even choose to edit details before sending them. While it is a good idea to use AI driven Spot to collect details of the incidence from victim these alone cannot reduce the number of sexual harassment cases. Without the support of organisations, even the best technology, cannot replace a robust and supportive company policy discouraging sexual harassment.
2. Issues with the Privacy
While there are a range of things that an organisation can do to address the issue of sexual harassment and reduce the number of cases, technologies like chatbot and spot make it easier by giving a safe outlet to victims to share their experiences. There is no doubt that some people feel reluctant to come ahead and talk about their harassment incidents, the benefits of offering an anonymous reporting solution are plenty. However, it does lend itself to providing the name and contact details can create opportunity for false allegations and harm a co-worker’s reputation by sending fake reports. Chatbots like Spot have come under scrutiny regarding data and privacy. Some people may hesitate to use the application if they are unsure of guarantees of privacy.
3. Chatbots Provide Information in Crises
If people are uncertain that what they have experienced qualifies as sexual harassment or they are being too sensitive, there is a chatbot called Botler which caters to such people by providing content that answers their questions. Sexual harassment victims are known to put off sharing their experiences especially in case of physical assault. Botler looks through court cases all across the world to help people understand the laws that are relevant to their situation. This enables victims to make informed choices before deciding to come forward.
Chatbot, Gabbie is aimed at handling the claims of victims of sexual harassment. Its features are both reporting based as well as informational. It informs people with everything they want to know about sexual harassment and also lets them input new information onto Gabbie which can later be tunred into a printable format.
While it is true that chatbots enabled with AI definitely have some noteworthy benefits such as improving the reporting of incidents and keeping employees informed. It is also important to understand that while chatbots offer convenience, they cannot support the traumatic effects caused by such incidences. It is important the employers develop robust policies against sexual harassment and create open and safe channels for employees to come forward and report such matters.
If you think you have been sexually harassed in the workplace our no win no fee Employment Solicitors can assist with all types of claims . Naturally, we pride ourselves on providing the best possible service to the highest standards, we offer employment law advice on all problems. Call us on 0800 756 6605 or 020 3923 4777
Tom Street qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has over 20 years experience in employment and litigation law. He studied law at the University of Manchester before undertaking the legal practice course at the College of Law in Guildford, going on to complete his legal training at a firm in Chancery Lane, London. Once fully qualified, he moved to a niche litigation practice in the City of London.
In 2010, Tom set up his own legal practice, Tom Street & Co Solicitors and as part of this, in accordance with his strongly held objective to provide everyone with an easy pathway to justice he established the online portals Do I Have A Case? and Tribunal Claim. These websites are trading names of Tom Street & Co Solicitors.