Bullying & Harassment – it’s an abuse of power and it’s personal

Guest speaker:

Thom Dennis

Event date:
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Bullying, harassment and the abuse of power in the workplace are rife:

• 29% have been the victims of workplace bullying – that’s 9.1 million of the UK workforce.

• 38% of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace. For disabled women, it’s 70%.

• 68% of LGBT workers have experienced sexual harassment at work and 66% of these incidents go unreported because they fear they will get fired.

And yet...

• Just 15% of companies have made an effort to create specific strategies to address sexual harassment.

• 85% of harassed victims do not file a complaint and most do not even talk about it with their co-workers or superiors. Instead, they opt to quit their jobs.

• £16,000 per person is the average cost of lost productivity because of workplace sexual harassment.

Our very own CEO, Thom Dennis, steps into the spotlight this month to talk about an issue close to his heart. Having lived with lifelong psychological scars as a result of the bullying and abuse he was subjected to throughout his early life, his experience has made him a passionate advocate. Thom has dedicated much of his 30-year career to addressing the issues and impacts that harassment, bullying and the abuse of power have on companies and has worked with leaders to implement positive change.

In this talk, Thom explores what bullying and harassment are and the devastating impact they can have on individuals and organisations alike. He’ll look at the psychology behind the bully mentality and importantly, what steps must be taken effectively to bring this behaviour to a halt. He outlines the things that leaders can do to manage the responsibilities and expectations of their role.

Approximately 74% percent of workplace bullying is “top-down” from leadership. It is important therefore that leaders are adequately equipped to manage the responsibilities and expectations of their role. That pattern sows the seeds of low engagement, staff turnover, absenteeism and a poor corporate profile.

Far too often organisations circle around the bully and target those who whistle blow, hence the need for whistle blower legislation.

So why does all this continue to happen and why are leaders apparently so reluctant to acknowledge and deal with it effectively?

The situation is not hopeless – awareness and inclusion can both be brought together to end bullying by creating psychologically safe workplaces and by holding leaders to a higher level of skill, expectation, and accountability.

More about the speaker:

Thom is a facilitator, speaker, consultant, change agent and educator. He leads companies dedicated to bringing out the best in people through coaching and training and increasing self-awareness, defining strategy, working through M&As and improving communication.

As the founder and CEO of Serenity in Leadership, Thom is intent on resolving issues of inclusion to help people whoever they are, whatever background they have come from, shine and thrive, and their organisations with them.

He is highly sensitive to the dynamics and overall culture which define an organisation, and works to strengthen business performance whilst securing positive change.

About the series:

Profitable Wellbeing - Working towards creating the most successful, inclusive work cultures in 2021

Join Serenity in Leadership as we bring together exceptional thought leaders and grassroots colleagues to propel the importance of diversity and a healthy workplace culture.

This monthly series focuses on the nuances of the more challenging - and less talked about - aspects of inclusion and wellbeing. From disability awareness to love’s place at work, we dive into the deep end to grapple with unconventional subjects head-on.

Each event begins with a short keynote by an expert speaker, followed by a 40-minute dialogue in which all attendees have the opportunity to explore the impact that the talk has had on them. This hybrid formula is unique in that it brings together education, exploration, and proactive support in a non-judgemental environment and it enables people to interact and hear each other's feelings and reactions following the talk.

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