Travers Smith encourages staff to adopt workplace ‘safe word’ response to inappropriate office language

updated on 07 March 2018

Travers Smith is encouraging staff to use ‘safe-words’ to call out inappropriate language in the office.

The new internal policy asks employees to say “that’s not cool” when they witness or are subjected to inappropriate office behaviour, such as sexist language. Its aim is to be a “non-confrontational” way of resolving uncomfortable situations and the initiative has been approved by the firm’s diversity and inclusion board.

Speaking to the Law Gazette, Travers Smith’s managing partner, David Patient, said: “The initiative is designed to empower all our people to support each other in saying and doing the right thing. It is not about blame or ridicule, it makes things non-confrontational. It is about creating a workplace where if someone says something inappropriate it allows us to work together to correct them and move on.”