Free speech and identify inappropriate behavior: to fight against “ordinary sexism” in the professional context, URSSAF called on the Lyon start-up Reverto, which offers virtual reality sessions.
For starters, what is sexism?
What is a sexist act? What is the difference with bullying? To start the day, a few reminders are in order. “A remark or a gesture that undermines the dignity of the person by its offensive character for example, it is a sexist act“, says Florence Lecert, sexism and harassment referent to management. “This is not necessarily intentional, this is where you have to be careful.”
There is nothing to penalize such inappropriate comments, it is the Labor Code which dictates the rules and limits. And so it is up to the employer to act. On the other hand, if these acts are repeated, we switch to harassment. More severe prosecutions and penalties apply: up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros. “Offering a drink to a colleague is one thing. But if it’s no, if it’s a silence… Then we let it go“, sums up Florence Lecert, who refers to the notion of consent.
“Awareness in the company”
Helmet on the eyes and ears, the employees then put themselves in the shoes of a victim of ordinary sexism. All with a 360° vision for an immersive experience. “I recognized myself in several situations“, comments Amélie, a rather convinced employee. “Remarks on motherhood, little nicknames like “my beautiful” or “my pretty” … It shocks or not, but these are things that happen.“
At the same time, the URSSAF has set up a whole procedure in the event of an alert. An internal investigation can thus be initiated if necessary, a special e-mail address is made available to employees, whether they are victims or witnesses. At all sites, a referent has been trained on these issues.
“We really want there to be awareness in the company, so that we can give practical tools to employees“, adds Romain Thevenon, HRD of the URSSAF National Fund. “We wanted something dynamic to reach more people, so that it could generate discussions.“
According to a study by the Superior Council for Professional Equality between Women and Men, 80% of women are regularly confronted with sexist attitudes or decisions in their professional environment.
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Lyon: virtual reality against sexism in the workplace
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