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Most people in their 20s think #MeToo hasn’t had positive impact in workplace

Just two per cent have noticed a difference

The majority of people in their 20s don’t think #MeToo has positively changed their workplace, a new poll has found.

The research, conducted by HuffPost UK and BBC Radio 5 Live comes nearly 18 months after the movement became a global talking point in the wake of allegations of sexual assault against disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein.

More than 1,000 twentysomethings took part in the poll, which asked them to state how they thought #MeToo had impacted their working lives, and only two per cent said they’d noticed a positive change.

One 23-year-old woman working in politics at Westminster told the publication that a senior backbench politician said he won’t hire women in light of #MeToo “because he doesn’t want to be accused of anything”.

The anonymous woman added that older female colleagues have described the movement to her as “a snowflake thing”, referencing the derogatory term typically applied to young people to imply their heightened sensitivity to social and political issues.

The #MeToo movement was coined by activist Tarana Burke in 2006 but reached global headlines in 2017 after actor Alyssa Milano called on women to share stories of sexual harassment or assault under the hashtag after The New York Times published details of the allegations against Weinstein.

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” the Charmed star posted, unaware of the tidal wave of responses she would receive that soon turned #MeToo into one of the most important social and cultural movements in contemporary history.

The recent research follows a survey conducted in October 2018 by YouGov for the Young Women’s Trust (YWT), which found that one year on, a quarter of young women said they would be reluctant to report sexual harassment in the workplace in fear of losing their job. Meanwhile, one third of those surveyed that they wouldn’t even know how to go about reporting incidents of sexual harassment.

Commenting on the new findings, YWT chief executive Dr Carole Easton said: “Well over a year on from the #MeToo movement young women are still telling us they don’t know how to report sexual harassment and are scared to do so.

“The clear message we are getting is that employers have failed to bring about the changes needed.”

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