Available through each of the member organisations’ websites, and via their social media accounts – the toolkit, it is hoped, will offer both freelance workers and employees of any gender access to a suite of key resources, reporting mechanisms and general advice on how to deal with harassment in the workplace.
Speaking about the Toolkit, Sarah Kieran, Co-Chair of Women in Film and Television, Ireland who co-ordinates Amplify Women, commented that “the recent and ongoing allegations regarding harassment in a whole range of sectors points to a real issue for all types of workers – both contract and permanent. We felt that it was hugely important to get as much clear information as possible together, so people know how to respond to such issues if they arise. We hope that it makes people feel empowered to report issues, and secure to know that supports and resources are available to them”.
The fact that so many organisations have come together under the umbrella of Amplify Women to support the Toolkit, signals the importance of the issue of harassment at this time. Sarah adds that “working together, and cross-sectorally, to address abuses of power, bullying and harassment, is the only way we can really solve the problem”.
While organisational culture is at the core of creating a supportive working environment for all, where bullying and harassment happens in a workplace, staff do need to know their rights, and employers need to respect them. Lian Bell, a founding member of #WakingTheFeminists, notes that “one of the main themes of these recent revelations is widespread abuse of power and position, across many different sectors. Many of the individuals speaking about their experiences felt disempowered and, in some cases, frightened to take steps to report the issues they were experiencing. We want this Toolkit to show people that they are supported”.
The Amplify Women Harassment Toolkit can be accessed via this link, on Twitter (@AmplifyWomenIRL), Amplify Women’s members’ websites & social media platforms.
Amplify Women is an umbrella group of organisations who represent, or carry out research about women working in the cultural and media industries. The organisations distributing and endorsing this initiative are: Women in Film & Television, Irish Equity, Women in Animation, Broadly Speaking, Members of #WakingTheFeminists, Writers’ Guild of Ireland, Screen Producers Ireland, Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, Women on Air.