The survey, conducted by new not-for-profit organisation Celebrate Her and prompted by the Sarah Everard case, attracted 483 responses, 95 per cent of them from women. Among the findings, Celebrate Her found only 33 per cent of hospitality workplaces have employee safety policies in place; asked for suggestions for ways businesses could make their staff feel safer, many respondents told Celebrate Her that they would be keen for more businesses to offer a licensed taxi “after hours” policy – contributing to employee’s taxi fares – as well as ensuring they weren’t left to lock-up premises on their own.
Fewer than a third of respondents said that male colleagues had reached out to them lately to speak out about issues of female safety, despite the issue being a talking point over the past fortnight since the death of Sarah Everard. Ms Everard went missing on March 3 while walking home from a friend’s flat in Clapham Common, and her body was found on March 10. Police offer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with Ms Everard’s kidnap and murder. The case has prompted many women to speak out about their own experiences and has sparked a national conversation around women’s safety.
In the survey, many respondents called on men to listen more closely to their concerns, to speak to their friends and other men on the subject, to check their own behaviour and to take action. “Show empathy towards women and call out the brotherhood for bad behaviour” read one reply. “Be an ally and don’t make it about you, prioritise us for once and change your toxic behaviour,” said another.
In response to the survey, the Celebrate Her platform has launched a #GetHomeSafeHospo page pledging to work with “employers in hospitality to acknowledge female safety in the work place and take measures to ensure they can travel home from work without fear” and to work “with men, looking at ways they can be supportive and make the much needed changes in our industry.”