Union boss accused of inappropriate behaviour
In a statement posted on social media, the 62-year-old admitted that “people have experienced unwanted physical touches from her.”
“For example, when I’ve kept my hand on their back for too long when hugging them, grabbing their bum and dancing too close to them – or behaving inappropriately in social contexts, explains Risgaard.
With about 1.3 million members spanning across 65 organisations, FH (Danish Trade Union Confederation) is the largest national trade union confederation in Denmark.
According to FH, it is recognised as the most representative workers’ organisation in both the private and the public sector.
A leading figure for years
Considered one of the most powerful women in Denmark, Risgaard has lead FH since 2015 and was elected to chair the organisation as recently as 2022. Prior to that, she was deputy head from 2007-2015.
Berlingske and Ekstra Bladet reports that Risgaard has behaved inappropriately by touching younger colleagues for years, despite being an ardent opponent of sexist culture in the workplace.
The two media have knowledge of ten episodes between 2016 to 2021 where, according to accusations, Risgaard acted in an inappropriate manner,
In her Facebook update on Thursday night, the union boss says that she has not taken her position of power into account and she calls her behavior unprofessional and wrong.
She adds that she is “very sorry” and that it was never her intention to cause distress.
“It’s always the offended party who defines when one has crossed the line. Therefore, I would also like to apologise to those who have felt wronged over my inappropriate behaviour. Sorry!,” she concludes.