As we return to the office, now’s the time to stamp out sexual harassment

A view from NABS CEO Diana Tickell

NABS CEO Diana Tickell explains what timeTo and NABS are doing to combat sexual harassment as people return to the office, and why we should all take the new timeTo training modules.

As we approach our return to offices, more and more people are coming to NABS for help with their emotional wellbeing. In fact, emotional support calls accounted for just over a third of all calls to our expert Advice Line in Q3 of this year.

It’s no surprise that people are feeling anxious after the last couple of years. And something that’s adding to this sense of trepidation amongst adlanders is the fear of returning to sexual harassment at work.

timeTo to end sexual harassment in advertising and marketing

The timeTo campaign to end sexual harassment in advertising and marketing, of which NABS is a founder member alongside the Advertising Association and WACL, carried out research last year to gauge the situation around sexual harassment, hybrid working and feelings around returning to the offices. A huge 49% of our survey respondents are worried about the return of sexual harassment, stating reasons including 'pent-up aggression, anxiety and anger' and 'boundaries about what is appropriate being forgotten' as possible causes.

This week, we launch our new timeTo campaign, designed to raise awareness around this crucial issue as we prepare to go back to our offices. The campaign makes for important and chilling viewing. It features various paraphrased quotes from the research which highlight the sad fact that too many of our people are affected by sexual harassment. Each quote demonstrates the real-life and devastating effect of this appalling behaviour.

One survey respondent told us in no uncertain terms: 'We still need to fundamentally change the way we work together.' That’s a clear call to action and one we can no longer ignore. 

You can help to change industry culture for good. If you’re not already a timeTo endorser, please sign up to our campaign. What’s more, I strongly encourage you to take up timeTo’s training. Our brilliant training sessions have been updated to reflect our new ways of working, and provide safe spaces in which delegates can learn how to identify and ultimately eradicate sexual harassment for good. 

We’ve received some excellent feedback from those who have already taken the training and found it to be informative, inclusive and practical, including the following: 

We just wanted to say how positive and powerful we found the timeTo sexual harassment training. It’s been incredibly well-received now across the whole company. It has provided a language, confidence and framework for women and men to speak freely, to acknowledge behaviour, and to take action to help ensure we create an open and safe environment for all to work in.

Untold Studios 

timeTo training is insightful, sobering, though-provoking and informative. I can’t stress enough how important this course is for adland – we have a duty to eradicate sexual harassment from our workplaces and this is an essential part of that process.

Zoe Harkness, Head of Planning, Thinkbox

Sign up for our training today or find out more about it by emailing timetotraining@nabs.org.uk and you and your teams can benefit from the education and empowerment offered by the sessions. Together, we can make the return to the office one that’s safe and inclusive for all.

Book now onto timeTo’s training
Last updated 23 November 2021