At some point in their lives, 81% of women will experience sexual harassment in the workplace. This can include anything from unwelcome physical contact to verbal or cyber harassment.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement and other high-profile headlines, you’d expect workplace harassment to be a thing of the past. Sadly, the latest workplace harassment statistics show the opposite.
Keep reading for five statistics that will shed light on this important topic.
- It’s Not Just Women
Women are historically the victims of sexual harassment, often falling prey to their male superiors. Although women still experience more harassment than men, it’s a growing problem for the other gender too.
The same study cited above found that 43% of men have been harassed at work. The most common offenses are seeing explicit images or videos, requests for sexual favors, or being physically followed by their harasser.
- Remote Harassment Is on the Rise
During the pandemic, working from home and attending meetings via video conferencing has become the norm. But did you know you can become a victim of workplace harassment even if you’re not at the office?
In a recent survey, 38% of workers say they’ve been harassed via email, phone, video conferencing, or chat apps. They also felt that it’s easier for harassment to continue or even escalate via remote channels.
You can find more info here on what qualifies as sexual harassment, regardless of your physical location.
- Most Incidents Go Unreported
With numbers like these, you’d think that HR departments would be littered with allegations of harassment in the workplace. Interestingly, the reality is often just the opposite.
In a recent BBC survey, 63% of women did not file a complaint even when they were clear victims of harassment. Meanwhile, a full 79% of men chose to remain silent if they were victimized. Another 18% of respondents admitted they’ve witnessed harassment at work but failed to report the offense.
- Backlash from a Claim
The main reason many victims don’t come forward is they fear potential backlash for reporting the harassment. Is there evidence to support this fear?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. A 2020 report found that 55% of victims experience some sort of backlash after speaking up. The most common retaliations include demotion, being excluded from staff activities, or receiving an unfavorable reassignment.
- No Resolution
The brave few who do decide to speak up often find little or no resolution. One survey found that a shocking 95% of harassers go unpunished even after there’s a formal complaint against them.
The result? One in three workers has left a job because of unresolved sexual harassment issues.Sadly, another 26% have remained at their workplace despite ongoing harassment.
Harassment in the Workplace: Seeking Solutions
You’d think that by the year 2022, we would have found a solution for harassment in the workplace.
Unfortunately, as these statistics show, it’s still an ongoing problem. The best thing you can do is stay alert to workplace harassment and do your part to keep your workplace safe for everyone.
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