British businesses have been urged to stamp out sexual harassment from the workplace, in what must be a "turning point" in society following the recent scandals that have rocked Westminster and Hollywood,

Speaking at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in London on Monday (6 November), the lobby group's director general Carolyn Fairbairn stressed the importance of curbing harassment.

"Sexual harassment in all forms is totally unacceptable in today's Britain," she said.

"The harm done to people's lives, self-esteem and dignity is profound. We must work together to stamp it out.

"Westminster and Hollywood are currently in the spotlight, but there can be no doubt that it exists elsewhere, including in some businesses."

Fairbairn warned that while businesses took the wellbeing and welfare of their employees very seriously, sexual harassment was often hidden and could come in many guises, adding that only "committed leadership" would ensure the workplace remained free from sexual harassment.

The CBI has urged businesses to ensure they have clear processes for employees to report concerns over sexual harassment, in confidence and without fear and to review or develop their code of conduct about what is and is not acceptable behaviour and ensure everyone understands it.

Fairbairn also stressed the importance to continue increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of their workforces at all levels.

"Establishing a supportive culture and effective process across all business is a priority for the CBI and our members.

"The CBI will bring together large and small firms to support change, building on and sharing existing practice to prevent harassment across all workplaces. This must be a turning point across society."

Her comments come barely a week after a "dirty dossier" allegedly containing the names of dozens of Conservative MPs who had engaged in some form of questionable behaviour rocked British politics.

Politicians from all political parties have vowed to come together to take action on the culture of sexual harassment at Westminster. However, a leaked version of the dossier without the names has also been circulated, with serious accusations, mildly inappropriate incidents and issues which wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned last week after broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer claimed that he repeatedly touched her knee during the Conservative Party conference in 2012, while on Sunday (5 November), new allegations against Theresa May's deputy, Damian Green, surfaced.

Bob Quick, a former assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan police, told The Sunday Times that "extreme pornography" was discovered on Green's computer during an inquiry into government leaks in 2008.

Green has firmly denied the accusation, describing Quick as a "discredited police officer" who was intent on carrying out an "unscrupulous character assassination".

With the scandal engulfing more and more senior figures, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted Westminster was facing a "watershed moment" and that MPs should hold themselves to a higher standard.

The revelations in Westminster came shortly after a number of Hollywood stars, including Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein and Dustin Hoffman were accused of assaulting and harassing men and women.

Famous actresses and actors, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Rapp, have come forward, detailing their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment while working in Hollywood.