Every person has a fundamental right to respect, dignity and to pursue her or his employment free from sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is an unacceptable abuse of power in business relationships and is often an act of violence. It may be perpetrated by business superiors, colleagues, clients, and other parties with whom a person may interact for business purposes.
For the design industry, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) is advocating that all professional ethics codes include a prohibition on sexual misconduct. We ask that state licensing boards mandate ongoing training for all licensees in the area of sexual misconduct. We ask that industry associations refrain from bestowing awards on individuals or firms that harbor individuals who have been found to engage in sexual misconduct.
BWAF believes that all employers should have in place a written policy banning sexual misconduct of any nature whatsoever, a procedure whereby employees can report sexual misconduct without fear of repercussion and a commitment to treat allegations of misconduct seriously with gradations of punishments, up to and including termination, of internal personnel, clients and third-party vendors, suppliers or subcontractors who are found culpable of sexual misconduct. We stand against employment contracts and settlement agreements that prevent victims from disclosing acts of sexual misconduct or limit an employee’s right or remedies in connection with claims of sexual misconduct.
BWAF stands with the victims of sexual misconduct who have had the courage to speak out and encourages those who have not yet spoken to do so, if they choose to and if their circumstances permit them to do so safely and without fear of repercussion.
Re-Balancing the Power: Solutions for Sexual Misconduct in Architecture and Design Culture