Our findings: inclusion - Museums Association

Our findings: inclusion

Within the questionnaire there was a direct question relating to the basis of the bullying and whether it was related to legally-protected characteristics.

Respondents were able to reflect across all protected characteristics and other factors affecting their experiences of bullying.

Experience of bullying by protected characteristic

for example specific sexual harassment and sexist comments
for example continued failure to make reasonable adjustments
Race or ethnic origin
for example use of language
with an additional 2% relating their bullying experience to parental responsibilities
for example having to justify religious beliefs and being mocked for these
Sexual orientation
Gender reassignment
for example deliberate use of wrong pronouns
  • 25% of respondents felt they were being bullied because of a protected characteristic
  • Many of the comments included references to treatment whilst pregnant or returning from maternity leave, for example jobs changing completely and workstation removed
  • Bullying due to race and ethnic background was very low in this research but reflects the respondent profile
  • While not a protected characteristic, 2% of respondents felt they were being targeted as a function of class – specifically being working class, for example perpetrators referencing ‘good schools’ and individuals feeling that there was an ‘old boys’ network, or that they were targeted because they didn’t have a posh school background and degree ‘like them’
  • Other behaviours described harassment related to weight, appearance and different working patterns, for example being targeted for working part-time rather than full-time
  • Respondents frequently felt they were perceived as a threat and this was an underlying reason or a trigger for bullying, for example if they were more experienced than others they were likely to be bullied or if they were challenging the current organisational norms and power bases
  • There were examples where more than one characteristic affected the bullying situation, the most common combination being young and female