Over half women report being harassed at work, CNBC reported Wednesday. Specifically, 52% of women in the workplace reveal coworkers sent inappropriate texts or emails, said something sexual or disparaging, or touched them without permission, according to a new British survey with 25,000 participants. The survey, CNBC continues, is the largest of its kind.
Workplace harassment does not stop there. “[Further] examples of bullying and harassment ranged from being deliberately undermined – which more than one in four respondents reported – to victimization, or the intentional blocking of career progression, which more than one in six said they had experienced,” CNBC explains. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), asking for sexual favors in exchange for job advancement (or as a condition of employment) violates U.S. workplace protection laws and also constitutes sexual harassment. The most surprising findings from the survey, however, may have been the environments where women are most likely to be harassed. Women are actually more likely to be harassed in settings “with a higher female-male ratio than other, more male-dominated industries,” CNBC adds. Women working in the entertainment, recreation, arts, and media industries are harassed more often than peers in other professions.
Experts add that survey results did not consider women’s opinions only. Up to 2,166 men participated, adding their insights to the new research. Male participants were starkly honest. “Senior males in my office are known for going after the younger women. It’s a joke (and) goes on too much for that to be acceptable,” one admitted.
Young workers — male and female — are similarly vulnerable to workplace harassment. At least one-third of all teenagers are harassed at work, according to Think Progress. Harassment at any age can have lasting — and often devastating — effects. “Harassment continues to have serious ramifications even for older workers, who can have higher rates of stress and depression, decrease their productivity, and increase their time away from work,” experts say. Misconduct could ultimately impact the entire company, discouraging from top contenders applying for available positions as well.