Can AI stop sexual harassment in the workplace?
In a move to tackle the rampant issue of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, PR pro, Ruth Sparkes and businesswoman Sunita Gordon have rolled out a ground-breaking AI chatbot within their new ‘SaferSpace‘ app.
This timely innovation emerges amid a flurry of UK headlines exposing workplace sexual misconduct – from McDonalds to the military, police forces to parliament, NHS, and more.
A shocking figure underpins this: a whopping 79% of workplace sexual harassment incidents go unreported, largely due to confusion over what counts as harassment or discrimination.
SaferSpace’s AI chatbot steps in as a friendly, easy-to-use resource. It’s savvy about the UK Equality Act, helping users decipher tricky situations at work. Take, for instance, unwanted overtures from a boss – the chatbot can tell you straight up if that’s harassment. It’s a game-changer in simplifying the reporting process.
Ruth shared her thoughts: “We spotted a real need for a confidential guide to help people figure out if they’ve been harassed or victimised at work. Our app’s AI chatbot is just the ticket for this tricky dilemma.”
SaferSpace isn’t just about diagnosing problems though; its creators hope that it will drive real change in all sorts of organisations.
The stats are staggering: 58% of UK women have faced workplace harassment, and 68% of students have been harassed on campus. The app does more than offer advice; it equips organisations with vital data to foster safer environments (TUC, 2023; Fawcett Society, 2023)
The app’s anonymous reporting feature is crucial, especially in workplaces with a strict pecking order.
Sunita elaborated on SaferSpace’s larger goal: “We’re not just making reporting easier. We’re giving organisations the data they need to make a lasting difference. They’ll see where trouble spots are, and where they might need to ramp up training.”
“This is so timely, especially with the new Worker Protection Act kicking in this October. It mandates all employers, from construction companies to universities, to prevent sexual harassment.”
Their personal experiences deeply influenced the founders. “Creating SaferSpace was very personal. Our own experiences with workplace issues motivated us to create a tool for others to speak up and get support,” Sunita explained.
Ruth added, “We’re striving for workplaces and campuses that are genuinely safe and respectful. We’re bridging the gap between mandatory training, written policies etc.. and real-life experiences.”
SaferSpace also plays a vital role in educating users about their rights and the legalities of workplace conduct, its AI chatbot responds to specific queries and educates users about the legal framework surrounding workplace conduct. This feature supports users in promoting an environment where they can confidently address and challenge misconduct.
Ruth said, “We designed SaferSpace to be intuitive and straightforward. It’s about removing barriers – technological and psychological – so that more people feel comfortable seeking help.”
As SaferSpace makes waves across various sectors, it’s becoming clear: this app is becoming an essential tool for fostering safer, more respectful workplaces. Ruth and Sunita are committed to this cause, Sunita added, “This is about tackling the issues of today, and it’s about shaping a better, safer tomorrow for everyone in the workplace.”