1. Safer Dance

Safer Dance is a collaboration between Subtle Speaks and RSM that aims to end sexual harassment in the hospitality sector.

2021 data from UN Women revealed that 71% of women in the UK have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space, with the numbers rising for 18 to 24 year olds. 

Subtle Speaks works with venues, festivals, customers, and students to raise awareness of sexual harassment and uses RSM’s anti-sexual harassment framework and consultancy service. RSM’s anti-sexual harassment framework is the work of a team led by a former senior police officer with experience in public protection and safeguarding. 

As clubs and venues have reopened after lockdown, they are seeking to formalise and strengthen the management of key risks as well as ensure that attendees feel comfortable and safe. Safer Dance helps progressive business leaders in the night-time economy to do that.

2. Fabric London 

Occupying the renovated space of the Metropolitan Cold Stores, Fabric London has been a leading night club since its inception in 1999. Known for its talent-led events covering the full spectrum of electronic dance music, it has been ranked the #1 UK venue five times in the past two decades. 

Fabric welcomes between 10,000 and 20,000 customers through its doors every single week, and acknowledges that the industry needs to do more to tackle sexual harassment and assault. Fabric wanted to understand the maturity of its arrangements in this area, and called on Safer Dance and RSM for help.  

What we did

RSM assessed Fabric’s arrangements for managing sexual harassment risk. We focused on aspects such as: 

  • senior management commitment;
  • policies and procedures; 
  • risk assessment; 
  • reporting mechanisms;
  • customer welfare; 
  • staff training; and 
  • continuous improvement.

The first phase was the completion of a self-assessment. This was followed with an information gathering phase, which included peer benchmarking and staff surveys.

The self-assessment and surveys were distributed via 4Questionnaire, a module in Insight4grc – RSM’s proprietary cloud-based risk management software. 

In the final stage, RSM ran a workshop with the management team to discuss the findings and recommendations. It was structured to allow for an open ‘check and challenge’ phase so the team could discuss and agree potential actions.

We identified evidence to show that Fabric London has embedded a culture of respect and had placed its ‘always believe the report’ policy at its heart. Fabric had a clear ongoing commitment to the safety and welfare of both staff and customers through the Safer Space Policies, including its stated commitment of ‘striving to create a safe and truly open space.’

Outcomes – how we helped 

As a result of the workshop, we proposed a set of recommendations, some of which Fabric acted on immediately. It took measures such as: 

  • a public-facing communication strategy; 
  • innovative messaging for ‘would be perpetrators’;
  • developing key performance indicators and customer engagement strategies; and 
  • improving its business governance structures.

Fabric is committed to continuously improving its management of sexual harassment risk. It has scheduled a series of quarterly meetings with RSM to review progress against its action plans.

Fabric’s Operations Manager said of the project:

"At first, I was sceptical. But the feedback has won me round, made me think of [sexual harassment] in a different way. If you're serious about tackling this issue, Safer Dance can help. It’s very easy to take the path of least resistance, and Safer Dance has forced us not to do that."