Elimination of sexual harassment is an organiser’s responsibility

Should attendees sign good behaviour contracts?
The reports of how guests at the Presidents Club Charity Dinner in The Dorchester Hotel early in January treated the female waitresses like sex playthings have reverberated around the world. In the immediate aftermath, that annual event has been cancelled and there have been countless arguments aired as to who was really responsible.

Obviously, any of the highly paid, privileged bosses of big business, entertainment and politics who committed the harassment should have known better. One is tempted to ask if that was an unusual annual fling or whether it is typical of how the top brass in their big enterprises regard their female staff all year round.

Another interesting feature of the whole story is that the 100 or so young, attractive women who were hired to work at the event for that evening, for a fee of about £150, were obliged to sign non-disclosure clauses in their contracts to the effect that they would not speak about anything they saw or heard at the event.

This could be interpreted as meaning that the diners could do anything or say anything without fear of any bad publicity or come-back.

The question then arises as to why the young women employees had to agree to say nothing, whilst the members of the Presidents Club did not have to agree to behave correctly.

Perhaps, in future, event organisers should ask their delegates and guests to sign an agreement that they will not take advantage of the junior staff employed to serve them. Obviously, good behaviour cannot always be taken for granted.

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