Sexual harassment training for managers

Jamaica Observer

Managers and other senior officials across the island are being targeted for a gender relations training session scheduled for November 4.

The training is being provided in an effort to increase knowledge of sexual harassment among other things, and to provide guidance on how these issues should be addressed in the workplace.

The seminar is being organised by the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and Compete Caribbean.

It will be delivered by the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) and comes against the backdrop of the recent parliamentary approval of the Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention) Act, 2021.

When implemented, the legislation will require employers to ensure that their workers are informed of its varying clauses.

The Act contains provisions for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, correctional institutions, places of safety, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric facilities, among other places.

Sexual harassment involves someone making any sexual advance towards a person that is regarded as offensive or humiliating by the person towards whom it is made; or which has the effect of interfering with the work performance of the person to whom the advance is made; or creating an intimidating offensive or hostile working environment.

It covers any form of conduct or behaviour that could be a demand or request for sex or favours of a sexual nature, the making of sexual suggestions, remarks or innuendos; the showing of pornography or display of images or objects of a sexual nature and any other physical gesture, verbal/non-verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

MIND will design, develop and deliver the training sensitisation intervention in aspects of gender relations. There will also be a self-paced learning course in January 2022.

The GSAJ, which represents players in the business process outsourcing sector, is one of Jamaica’s largest providers of employment. There are more than 44,000 people working in the industry, which is poised for further expansion.

The advocacy group was founded in 2012 and is focused on growing and diversifying Jamaica’s global services industry, while attracting and supporting companies in the industry as they create jobs across the country.

The GSAJ developed the training programme to deal with sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace based on gaps that were identified in a 2020 Gender Assessment Survey that it had commissioned.

Through the November 4 seminar, the GSAJ hopes to raise the levels of knowledge and awareness of sexual harassment so that workplace conduct is in line with acceptable benchmarked standards. The association decided to open the seminar to all managers as part of its contribution to stemming sexual harassment in Jamaica.


Published: Thursday, October 28, 2021