Briefing 5.1 - Workplace initiatives: the role of managers and supervisors

2. Managers and supervisors: their role in preventing violence and sexual harassment

Managers and supervisors have a responsibility to ensure that workplaces are free from sexual harassment. However, many supervisors have received little training on the issue. Managers and buyers do not always recognize the challenges and difficulties facing supervisors.

Verbal abuse, including shouting and name calling, often highly sexualized, is common in factories and farms. Supervisors, particularly those whose pay depends upon worker productivity, sometimes may mistakenly believe that using verbal abuse as a motivational punishment can spur worker productivity. For these supervisors, skills-training can equip them with positive motivational techniques that can replace verbal abuse; this in turn has the potential to increase worker productivity.