GIVEN the scale of the MeToo revelations we’ve had about sexual harassment since the Harvey Weinstein allegations surfaced last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are becoming desensitised to the revelations still trickling out.

Now that women have collectively begun speaking about the problem, it’s actually hard to keep up. But this week we had some news about sexual harassment from our own doorstep when it emerged that one in 10 women working in the media in Scotland said they had been sexually assaulted at work.

That’s an incredible statistic, isn’t it? Of a small pool of 177 women polled by Women in Journalism Scotland, 10 per cent of them had experienced some form of sexual assault. The results broadly concur with wider studies across the UK and beyond. Furthermore, nearly a third said they’d been harassed and 44 per cent had experienced unwelcome sexual advances. Two thirds had been on the receiving end of sexist behaviour.

There appeared to be a reluctance to report these incidents, with more than two-thirds saying they did not make a complaint. It’s no surprise, because of those who did try to have the problem dealt with, only a quarter felt it had been handled properly. When women aren’t confident that allegations of sexual harassment or assault will be taken seriously, the flip side is the fear that they end up being viewed or portrayed as troublesome.

There was another key statistic that came out of the survey, and one that ties sexual harassment in the workplace and society to a continuing underrepresentation of women in those areas: nearly a fifth of those surveyed said there were no women in roles more senior than their own.

Historically – and presently – women have not been all that visible at the top of the media tree. Even the liberal Guardian newspaper only appointed its first female editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, in 2015.

What’s vital for people to understand is that efforts to diversify our workplaces are not simply borne from a moral sense of equality. It’s more practical than that, and something that my industry, in particular, should care a great deal about.

The media can only be doing its job when it is a proper reflection of the society it exists to serve, and that doesn’t just mean on the page. An industry dominated at a decision-making level by men of particular classes and ethnic backgrounds leads to a natural skewing of what makes it onto the page.

The organisation Women in Journalism found in one study that in June-July 2017, only 25 per cent of front page newspaper stories were written by women. That’s just two per cent higher than in 2012. In addition, women are more likely to be pigeon-holed into covering “softer” areas of news. While men dominate politics, business and sport, for example, women are left with fashion, lifestyle and showbiz.

A study from City University London, published in 2016, showed that the outlook in terms of race doesn’t offer much optimism, either. While, at the time of release, nearly five per cent of the UK population was Muslim and three per cent black, only 0.4 per cent of journalists were Muslim and 0.2 per cent black.

This matters. As one of relatively few women at a senior editorial level in Scotland, I’ve seen the difference diversity in the newsroom brings to the output. At editorial conferences, women and people of non-white ethnic backgrounds will pick up on details or angles of a story that are often missed by white men. And before the inevitable uproar begins at that comment, it is not a criticism, and it is not a sly hint at inherent flaws within white men’s abilities. It’s simply that people have different experiences of the world. We don’t all see or experience events through the same lens.

Making sure our newsrooms are mixed – and, importantly, that coverage is more equally distributed – leads to a natural change in the tone of what makes it to the page or the airwaves.

When we feel perplexed at the reporting of, say, violence against women, or the stereotypes we sometimes see portrayed about people from religious or ethnic minorities, we need to assess how news and opinion is created, and not just the words on the page.

Equally, when it comes to the problem of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, we must keep coming back to the balance of power until we topple it. As with global media, Hollywood has historically been a bastion of male power. When this overwhelming dominance exists in any sector, it’s no surprise that unequal pay exists. It’s no surprise that sexual harassment is widespread. It’s no surprise that women and those of ethnic minority backgrounds are frightened to challenge what seems like a monolith.

All of these things are interconnected. Sexual harassment of women in the workplace is not a peculiar phenomenon, it is indicative of a fundamental root problem.

If we don’t solve that, I fear I’ll be writing columns just like this one for a long time to come.