Media giant cracks down on workplace sexism

Channel NewsAsia staff disciplined as more employees come forward with harassment allegations

Media giant cracks down on workplace sexism
Broadcaster Mediacorp is looking into allegations of inappropriate conduct by a staff member and two freelancers in his unit as more accusers come forward.

A producer for Channel NewsAsia, Park Juwon, made online posts last week that said a male colleague referred to a part of her body as the reason that she could not be a presenter, The Straits Times Reported.

After these posts became viral, several other producers became emboldened to complain to management similar experiences with the same staff member and freelancers.

A Mediacorp representative told The New Paper that they have concluded the allegations are valid and that it has taken disciplinary action against the staff.

Park uploaded on her Facebook page screenshots of her conversation with a colleague whom she confronted about his statement that "girls shouldn't be too smart for their own good" and that she should "act dumb."

She wrote on WhatsApp: "I think most people would find your words very sexist, belittling and distasteful … You can say they are jokes. But it is really an insult to all the hard work I've put in to get here."

The colleague replied that his comments were "meant as a joke" and that "it's how the industry works."

Park said that when she shared this with her co-workers, she was told to “get used to this.”

But the Mediacorp spokesman said: "We embrace the diversity of our workforce and will fight any form of discrimination or harassment that threatens our core values.

"Our code of business conduct and ethics states that we do not condone any form of harassment and that employees who know of or witness inappropriate behaviours should report them. All employees of Mediacorp sign a renewed commitment to this code every year."

On October 10, in another Facebook post, Park said she was leaving Singapore and but was happy the company was  acknowledging additional allegations brought forth by other producers even as she was repeatedly discouraged from going to HR with her past complaints.

“I don’t regret that I spoke up … Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected at work, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality or ethnicity.”

Related stories:
Sexism accusations hit Channel NewsAsia
Chinese travel firm breaks global “boys club” in tech sector

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