The recent public sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein made the headlines a few weeks back. The scandal empowered men and women to contribute more than 12 million posts to the #MeToo social media movement by sharing personal experiences with unwanted sexual advances or contact.
Taking a closer look into the #MeToo posts, a concerning pattern has emerged, showing a significant number of sexual assault has happened at the workplace. This has caused businesses in all industries to take a cold hard look at what they can do about sexual predators in the workplace through prevention and policy.
This isn’t a foreign problem as Malaysians are also seeing local instances with allegations made earlier this year by former MaGIC CEO that spoke out against a famous venture capitalist for sexual assault. There was also a recent report that a national aquatics coach was arrested for allegedly raping a national trainee. In the past, Verity Intelligence has also helped to expose a high profile manager as a party to a sexual harassment complaint and we’ve prevented more than 20 cases over the last few years.
Now that the issue is gaining awareness, what can companies do to ensure the safety of their staff and that they have a secure work environment? Other than stricter internal policies and building a safer reporting process for complaints, background screening can be an effective preventive measure.
Through a complete background check, employers can verify with local and overseas references, and check for public criminal records, to ensure that any potential hires with sketchy pasts can be nipped at the bud. For institutions that work closely with children, Verity Intelligence can help verify if your existing or potential employee is a perpetrator or blacklisted in the child abuse records, which is instrumental in helping companies identify sexual predators that target minors.