New ATD Survey: 71 Percent of Companies Offer Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

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The typical employee receives an average of 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training per year.

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world's largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop talent in the workplace.

To gain a better understanding of training offered to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) surveyed nearly 1,000 training and human resources professionals. Results show that while nearly nine in 10 participants reported their organization had a formal, written sexual harassment policy, 71 percent of organizations offered sexual harassment prevention training.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” The EEOC states that prevention is the best way to combat such unwanted behavior. Sexual harassment prevention training is not federally mandated.

ATD’s online poll of 995 talent development and human resources professionals was administered in October and November 2017. Key findings include:

  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents have a formal, written sexual harassment policy.
  • Seventy-one percent of participants indicated that their organization offers sexual harassment prevention training.
  • The typical employee receives an average of two hours of sexual harassment prevention training per year.
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents indicated that over the last three years, the number of times sexual harassment prevention training is offered and who takes it has not changed; 29 percent reported that their organization has increased the offering (in terms of the number of times offered or offered to more people).
  • When asked who in the organization receives sexual harassment prevention training, 77 percent said everyone. Sixteen percent said senior leaders, and 15 percent said middle managers. Just 6 percent said it’s offered remedially.
  • A clear majority of respondents indicated that sexual harassment prevention training at their organization covers peer to peer harassment (91 percent) and supervisor harassment of direct reports (90 percent). Nearly three-quarters reported that it covers harassment of reports “down the line” (73 percent). Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) indicated the training covers employee harassment of external people encountered while on the job (such as vendors, clients, or contractors).
  • Seven in 10 respondents indicated that they expected their organization’s sexual harassment prevention training to remain the same over the next three years (in terms of how often it’s offered and the number of people trained). Twenty-eight percent anticipated an increase in the offering or the number of people trained.
  • Nearly eight in 10 participants reported that sexual harassment prevention training is delivered through self-paced e-learning (78 percent), while 39 percent indicated it’s delivered through live, instructor-led classroom training.

About ATD
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees, improve performance, and help to achieve results for the organizations they serve. Originally established in 1943, the association was previously known as the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).

ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports talent development professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led U.S. chapters and international member networks, and with international strategic partners. For more information, visit http://www.td.org.

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Kristen Fyfe-Mills
Association for Talent Development
+1 (703) 683-8192
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