If you are confident that everyone on your team is a gentleman and the women are safe and treated like equals, you may be promoting harassment through neglect. “Harassment happens in places where the employees don’t sense that the company takes harassment seriously,” says Mercer.
Even if you have a policy against harassment and have shared it with the staff, it is only effective if the employees believe you will enforce it. Having the policy, believing in it, and being willing to do something about it if someone comes forward is not enough.
“The research shows, that to measure a company’s level of tolerance for harassment, you need to measure how many of the employees in the organization actually believe your company is tolerant of harassment, says Mercer. “That reporting needs to come from the women in the organization, not the men.”
If a woman does report something, don’t bungle it. “A lot of men mess up here because they want to immediately solve the problem,” says Wilson. Minimizing it, telling her ‘that guy does that to everyone,’ or trying to talk her out of her interpretation is bungling it. Take her seriously, mediate, investigate, act on what you find.