Sexual Harassment Working Group
What is the Sexual Harassment Working Group?
In January 2018 the College Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Group approved the establishment of a working group to review current policies and procedures and make recommendations for improvement.
This Sexual Harassment Working Group (SHWG) has been convened and held its first meeting at the end of March 2018. The group draws on representation and expertise from across the college (see below for the list of members).
The group’s specific goals are to:
- Review existing policies and procedures for reporting and dealing with sexual harassment for staff-staff, staff-student, student-staff and student-student cases.
- Identify gaps / systemic failures
- Research and propose workable solutions that can be adopted college-wide
- Examine how the lessons learned and recommendations arising from this review may well also be valuable in informing procedures for dealing with other forms of harassment (e.g. racially motivated or against people with disabilities).
As a first step we have recruited an external specialist consultant to help us with the policy and procedure review. The consultant will review our published policies, talk to key people at Imperial who have experience in dealing with cases of sexual harassment, and provide both an analysis and an series of recommendations for action.
The results of this review are expected in the coming weeks and will set the agenda for the work to be undertaken by the Sexual Harassment Working Group in the coming months. Ultimately the report and recommendations of the working group will need to be approved by Provost’s Board before being implemented across the College.
What do we want to achieve and how long will it take?
We want a credible and consistent College-wide system of reporting and investigation that is accessible to staff and students. The reporting system should enable us support any individual, either as a victim or a potential perpetrator, about whom a report may be made.
The system should be able to handle various levels of incident, providing formal and informal routes for investigation and resolution for all anticipated scenarios (staff-staff, staff-student, student-student, and students affected by behaviour of individuals unrelated to the College). It should also provide indicative timelines for investigation and indicative outcomes.
The group aims to have completed its work within the next few months. Though we recognise the urgency and importance of the problems being address, we have not set a deadline because we want to make sure that the implementation plan that arises from this work is as effective as it can be. We want to take the time to get this right.
How can you help (and keep in touch)?
If you have ideas or suggestions of measures that we might take to improve our policies and procedures for dealing with reports of sexual harassment, please get in touch with one of the members of the working group.
Given the sensitive nature of the issues being discussed and the need for free and frank discussion, we will not be publishing minutes of the Working Group’s deliberations. However, we aim to provide summary updates as regularly as possible on this web page.
Membership of the working group:
- Stephen Curry, Assistant Provost (EDI), Chair
- Mark Burgman, Director, CEP
- Simone Buitendijk, Vice Provost (Education)
- Emma Chapman, Research Fellow, Physics, and the 1752 Group
- Hannah Bannister, Director of Student Services
- Ann Kelly, Head of College Employee Relations and Faculty of Medicine, HR
- Jarlath O’Hara, Managing Director, ICU
- Chippy Compton, ICU President (or her delegate)
- Kani Kamara, Joint Acting Head, EDI Centre
- Anita Hall, Senior Tutor, Faculty of Natural Sciences
- Susan Parker, EDI Forum
- Nigel Brandon, Dean, Faculty of Engineering
- Peter Lindstedt, Senior Consul
- Lesley Cohen, Consul. Faculty of Natural Sciences