Sky Sport engages external expert after allegations of sexual harassment and bullying

Sky TV have engaged the services of independent expert Steph Dyhrberg following reports of sexual harassment and bullying at the broadcaster.

Last month the Herald revealed multiple allegations of a “toxic” culture and harassment at the organisation from both current and former workers.

The independent conduct and complaints service role, undertaken by Dyhrberg and Dr Angela Williams, is similar to what they have done with New Zealand Rugby for the past three or so years.

Dyhrberg said although they are contracted by Sky, they will operate impartially to receive disclosures, listen to people, provide support options, access to paid counselling and to explore options if people want to take their complaints further.

“We’ll talk them through the sorts ofinformal and formal options, internal, external and how that works.”

The scope of the service will include sexual harassment, bullying, racial discrimination, homophobia and other “toxic” workplace issues.

As well as this, a Sky spokesperson said they are offering funded counselling sessions for anyone who is dealing with the impact of harmful behaviour at Sky and needs personal support.

When the allegations first emerged chief executive Sophie Moloney said she was “very sorry” members of the Sky team had experienced the behaviour described in the piece.

“I encourage them to speak with me or our chief people officer directly or through our confidential processes.”

Multiple media companies have come under scrutiny recently, with allegations of misconduct also emerging at organisations including Radio New Zealand (RNZ) and MediaWorks.

Both RNZ and Television New Zealand (TVNZ) have received five reports of sexual harassment or sexism in the past five years.

And a MediaWorks radio host resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.

Multiple sources told the Herald in the Initial story that they believed Sky Sport workers were too scared to speak up and voice their concerns.

One woman claimed she was sexually harassed multiple times by colleagues throughout her work there, including from an older male colleague saying he wanted to”f***” her, and he could help with her career.

Another person who used to work at Sky Sport claimed they were subjected to bullying by a senior manager and that when they raised the issue with HR it was not adequately addressed.

It got to the point where the person claimed they were so anxious they were shaking and didn’t know where to turn for support.

“There was nothing, there was nothing from anyone, except perhaps that I should meet with the person I was having an issue with.”

Senior staff who knew about the issue did “head in sand stuff” said the worker, who believed they ignored the problem.

A third person said almost everyone would turn the other way if they saw something wrong for fear of repercussions.

Those wanting to use the service can call 0800 759 000 during working hours, which Dyhrberg and Williams will monitor.

There’s also an email available which is [email protected]

“We’d really love to hear from people. We think that people are already finding it already helpful,” Dyhrberg said.

She applauded how seriously the company was taking the accusations and said it “really would” result in meaningful change else she wouldn’t be there.

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