Event Report: Bystander Intervention in the Workplace
Following our ‘El Tendedero’ event last July, WomEnpowered International held a second event in collaboration with the Mexican Embassy on Thursday 26th November to delve deeper into the topic of sexual harassment and bystander intervention in the workplace. WE Int. welcomed Hirona Hono, D&I lead at Mercari to lead a session combining theory and practical approaches to being an effective bystander. It was also an honour to have the participation of Melba Pria, the Mexican ambassador to Japan who shared her thoughts with us at the beginning of the event.
The workshop began with the setting of goals and questions to be tackled in the workshop. Particularly effective was the interactive nature of the workshop enhanced by the use of Mentimeter, an online quick answer survey platform. As people’s responses flooded in, they were visually displayed on the screen and we could all anonymously contribute and reflect on people’s stories. Why do bystanders not speak up? What are some challenges faced in cross-cultural settings? What are some concrete steps that can be taken to create mutual expectations? Hirona clearly dissected the theory for us and drew on real-life examples to demonstrate challenges as well as practical techniques that may be employed to effectively diffuse uncomfortable situations.
The latter part of the event involved a Q&A and discussion between participants. As the event involved not only WE Int. members, but also participants from the Mexican Embassy and outside the organisation it was very interesting to hear and share diverse experiences between male and female participants. We look forward to hopefully having more fruitful discussions like this in the future!