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Workplace bullying in the #MeToo era

Workplace bullying creates a toxic environment, but the #MeToo movement is highlighting the drivers of abuse that women experience at work.

Workplace bullying. Chances are we’ve all seen or experienced it at least once in our lives. From the extreme of sexual or physical assault, to the subtler eye-rolls that exist in the ‘grey area’ of bullying.

Dr Victor Sojo, a lecturer and Research Fellow at the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, says all these negative behaviours can lead to a toxic work environment and, as a result, impact on productivity.

“At the most basic level within organisations, people need to make rules clear about what behaviour is acceptable and what behaviour is not acceptable,” he says.

And the #MeToo movement is increasingly defining what’s not acceptable. Dr Sojo says it’s giving people who have been feeling marginalised, disrespected and abused the opportunity to speak up.

“We need more women in positions of power so that they could actually have a voice about how we are going to manage the situation. This is very important, because right now, I’m a guy talking about this.”

Episode recorded: December 21, 2018

Interviewer: Louise Bennet

Producer and editor: Chris Hatzis

Co-production: Silvi Vann-Wall and Dr Andi Horvath

This article was first published by Pursuit, from the University of Melbourne.

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