Sexual Harassment is Pervasive Among Self-Employed Creatives

On January 25, 2018, we revealed new research that 54% of self-employed creative women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. As a result, we decided to provide all of our members with a Safe Work Environment clause that they can implement into their contracts.

Today I’d like to address a topic. Not because it’s trending, but because it’s time and maybe because, in a symbolic way, it’s Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday.

Though not always effective, sexual harassment guidelines and awareness trainings have long existed in the traditional workforce or corporate world. Lately, we’ve seen the world turn their heads towards Hollywood and the startup ecosystem — which extends to entrepreneurs, self-employed, VC’s, investors and others — that don’t readily have these resources and protections.

We see yet another massive world that is left unprotected. Creative entrepreneurs and freelancers who work for themselves don’t have HR departments to regulate workplace behavior.

At HoneyBook, we take responsibility for the wellbeing of creative entrepreneurs — beyond the tools they use to run their business — so we decided to publish a report to bring light to the current reality of sexual harassment in the creative economy.

Our research revealed that 54 percent of self-employed creatives have been harassed at least once, and 83 percent did not report the sexual harassment to anyone, period.

When it was reported to the authorities or someone else, 51 percent of the time, no action was taken.

What are we doing about it?

With the help of attorney Paige Hulse, we are instituting Safe Work Environment clauses in all of our template contracts to help self-employed creatives protect themselves and combat sexual harassment. We are also making these clauses available to current HoneyBook members (if you are a member, check your inbox later today or click here) so that they have the option to update their existing template on our platform.

In publishing this report, we are taking the first step to change the status quo in the creative industry.


You can read the full report and join the conversation on our blog.