Study: Sexual Harassment Is Declining, Sexist Remarks in the Workplace Are Increasing
Few would disagree that the #MeToo movement has changed the way most people think of workplace sexual harassment in the United States. The movement began in October 2017 when social media users started using the hashtag “Me Too,” to signify that they had been a victim of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or other wrongdoing. The social media phenomenon came on the heels of sexual harassment allegations against several high-profile celebrities including film producer Harvey Weinstein. It is impossible to know exactly how much success this movement has had in reducing workplace sexual harassment, but a recent study has offered some interesting new information.
Women Polled About Sexual Harassment Show Changing Work Landscape
Researchers from the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business polled women in 2016 and then again in 2018 regarding sexual harassment at their workplaces. The survey shows that while sexual harassment is declining in some ways, that there are still issues surrounding inappropriate comments towards women at work.
Many of the women surveyed reported that certain types of harassing behavior such as staring, leering, and other unwanted sexual attention is less of an issue now than it was two years ago. Nearly 70 percent of women said that they were the subject of unsolicited sexual attention at work in 2016, but only a quarter of respondents said that they dealt with unwanted sexual attention at work in 2018. In 2016, 25 percent of women reported being the victim of sexual coercion while this number dropped to 16 percent in 2018.
Women Are Reporting an Increase in Negative Gender-Related Remarks
While some parts of the study showed a decrease in harassing behavior, other results suggest that there is still much that needs to be done to decrease sexual harassment. In 2016, a little over three-fourths of women polled reported sexism and sexist remarks at work while 93 percent of respondents reported this type of behavior in 2018. It is unclear if this increase in reports of sexism represents an actual increase in sexist behavior, or if women are now better-educated about what constitutes inappropriate remarks and behavior at work. While this study only focused on women as victims of sexual harassment, it is important to remember that both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment.
Contact a Chicago Sexual Harassment Attorney
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, contact an experienced Wheaton, Illinois employment discrimination lawyer at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC for help. Call us at 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential consultation today.