Four years on from the Me Too movement, what change have we seen, and what more needs to be done to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace?

Fawcett society hosted a panel session, discussing how employers should create workplace cultures that do not tolerate sexual harassment.   

Fawcett’s Chief Executive, Jemima Olchawski was joined by key figures such as Deeba Syed, Senior Legal Officer at Rights of Women and Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair of TIME'S UP UK, as they discussed the barriers women face in the workplace when experiencing and reporting sexual harassment and explored how culture change needs to come from the top of organisations to make change.

The Fawcett Society alongside womens organisations across the four nations of the UK, have developed the Tackling Sexual Harassment in the Workplace toolkit. It aims to help create workplace cultures where sexual harassment is not tolerated and provide employer guidance on how to respond appropriately to sexual harassment. 

This timely event and recording is beneficial for those working in HR, employee support and in leadership positions within their organisation as they seek to implement the toolkit. This event was also a safe space for those that have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, to learn how Fawcett Society worked with employers and policymakers to make change. 

Our Tackling Sexual Harassment in the Workplace research and event was made possible by the TIME'S UP UK Justice and Equality Fund, provided through Rosa. This project is a culmination of work from Fawcett and partners, Chwarae Teg, the Women’s Resource and Development Agency, and Close the Gap.


Jemima Olchawski

Chair - Jemima Olchawski (she/her), CEO, Fawcett Society

Jemima is the CEO of the Fawcett Society. She is a social policy expert with 15 years experience working on issues around social justice and women's rights. Her career has spanned national charities, local government and a think tank, working to tackle inequalities and improve life chances. Jemima was previously CEO for Agender, the alliance for women and girls at risk.

Alison Henderson (she/her), Policy and Research Manager, Fawcett Society

Alison joined Fawcett Society in December 2020. She works across our diverse range of women's issue, developing research proposals, formulating policy based on that evidence, and influencing for change. Alison previously spent over 20 years leading research and customer strategy development at Transport for London, using insight and advocacy to "speak truth to power" - about everything from bus services, to people development, or how focused interventions make transport accessible for disabled customers.

Deeba Syed (she/her), Senior Legal Officer (Sexual Harassment at Work Advice Line)

Deeba joined Rights of Women in 2019 to set up a brand-new employment law advice line for women experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, funded by TIME’S UP UK the Justice and Equality Fund, managed by the Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. Deeba is a qualified solicitor, originally training in the financial sector and now specialising in employment law. She is an experienced equality and women’s rights campaigner and activist. She has previously worked in politics, communications, and the charity sector.

Dame Heather Rabbatts (she/her), Chair, TIME'S UP UK

Dame Heather Rabbatts’ career spans law, government, sport & media. She heads up and established the Women’s Sports Group, a new venture designed to create opportunities to promote, enhance and empower women’s sport. Heather also chairs the board of Soho Theatre and until recently was MD of film & TV production company Cove Pictures where she produced The Drifters and The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. 

In 2018 Heather became Chair of TIME’S UP UK. Born out of the revelations of #MeToo, TIME’S UP advocates to end sexual harassment, change representation and pay parity to achieve long term cultural change. Heather began her career as a lawyer, then a government advisor and was the youngest CEO of a Local Authority. She was the first woman and person of colour on the board of the English FA in 150 years, served on the boards of the BBC, Bank of England, the Foreign Office and the Royal Opera House and commissioned award-winning content as a senior executive at Channel 4 Television.

Claire Walker (she/her), Co-Executive Director, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

Claire Walker is Co-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) a role she shares with Hannah Essex. BCC sits at the heart of a business network that spans the length and breadth of the UK, with links to markets across the world.

Claire and Hannah lead the British Chambers campaigns, communications, public affairs, policy and senior representative work on behalf of the Chamber Network. They joined the British Chambers of Commerce in September 2019 from social enterprise Teach First, where they co-led the Communications Department.

Claire covered Hannah’s maternity leave and they formed their partnership when Hannah returned in 2015. As one of the only Executive level job- share partnerships in the country, they are considered trailblazers in the concept of co-leadership.

Together, they have a combined 35 years’ experience leading in a range of organisations, driving transformation and impact. Claire has held a number of trustee positions and led a range of community projects.