Bullying, harassment and assault.
Who’s feeling the “Fear Factor” at work?
Recent news headlines have been full of accusations of harassment, sexual assault and rape, both in the media world and in UK politics. If proven to be true, sexual assault and rape will be dealt with in the criminal courts. But, what of the low level, lesser acts that also from a part of this landscape of power and abuse? Does the frequency and severity go with the job?
To help answer these questions we have analysed the MoralDNA™ profiles of over 160,000 people in over 200 countries. We then looked in detail at the MoralDNA profiles of those who work in four very diverse occupations but ones that regularly feature in our daily news: Healthcare, Politics, Banking and the Media. We looked for what we call the “Fear Factor” in these groups. We define the Fear Factor as the dominance of Law and the suppression of Love in a workplace culture. We can also describe this as the abuse of power and the objectification of other people. This is what we found…
“Your fears never go away. You just get more comfortable at ignoring them.”
The Fear Factor is greatest within the Media, the very people we expect to speak truth to power. Next is Banking where we see the greatest gender difference, with women experiencing greater fear than men. This is also true of Politics, those who are supposed to serve us, but instead we detect the abuse of power. Finally, we also see greater fear indicated for women in healthcare. It is, therefore, no coincidence that we are now seeing so many allegations of sexual assault, as well as evidence of an intimidated silent majority of witnesses.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
It is our view that Codes of Conduct will not fix this problem. In fact, the fear of being caught in breach of a code is likely to deepen the Fear Factor. We have already discovered how to deal with the abuse of power and that is to democratise our society. We need to remove hierarchy and coercive control from the workplace. How much would bullying, harassment and assault reduce if all employees elected their managers?! We also need to do work that has a clear social purpose and is rooted in moral values such as love, fairness and wisdom.