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Háskólinn í Reykjavík > Samfélagssvið / School of Social Sciences > MSc Viðskiptadeild (og Klínísk sálfræði -2019) / Department of Business Administration >

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  • Titill er á ensku How has the #Metoo movement contributed to changes in attitudes, awareness and understanding of sexual harassment in Icelandic banks?
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    The purpose of this research is to investigate how the #metoo movement has contributed to changes in awareness, attitudes and understanding of sexual harassment in the Icelandic banking industry and to explore how the #metoo movement has contributed to organisational initiatives or changes in behaviours in Icelandic banks. A qualitative method was used to conduct a multiple cases study of three Icelandic banks based on semi-structured interviews. There were eleven participants working as executives, human resource managers and branch managers in Icelandic banks.
    Responses were coded and analysed through thematic analysis. The results show that the #metoo movement increased awareness around sexual harassment in all three banks. The topic is being discussed more openly and the threshold for addressing and reporting unwanted behaviour or unfair treatment both from colleagues and customers is lower than before the movement. A culture of zero-tolerance for sexual harassment has been initiated by top management in the companies, with strong support from HR departments. Harassment policies and complaint procedures have been re-evaluated and updated in all three banks, and two of the banks modified their annual employee surveys to enforce focus on sexual harassment. Various initiatives such as seminars, lectures and workshops have been implemented to influence the way managers and employees think, talk and act, and to create and support a corporate culture of zero-tolerance. People are encouraged to speak up and address unwanted behaviour. This has revealed some unwanted episodes, and a few employees have lost their job as a result. The main conclusion of this research project is therefore that the #metoo movement has had a significant and positive impact on the Icelandic banking industry. Even though it is too early to tell if the #metoo movement will lead to lasting changes, it is clear that employees have more awareness of behaviours that constitute sexual harassment and that the tolerance for gender-based discrimination has gone from little to zero within the past year. Nevertheless, more research ought to be done with a wider range of industries and employee groups.

  • 17.1.2019

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