2017 Sexual Harassment Survey

 In Callum Morton, Stress at Work
sexual harassment in the UK

According to a recent survey of 6,206 British adults online, 40% of women and 18% of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Conducted by ComRes on behalf of the BBC, the survey was based around attitudes towards sexual harassment in the workplace. It found that two in five women in the UK say they have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at work, with only a quarter of them reporting it.

The survey was one of the largest ever conducted into sexual harassment in workplace and has highlighted a number of worrying statistics, some of which can be found below.

The survey found that workers in flexible jobs are more likely to have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour. 42% of people that rely on flexible working patterns including freelancers, gig workers and those on zero-hour contracts, have faced sexual harassment at work. This is considerably higher than people employed by an organisation (29%).

Four in 10 women and just under half that number of men (18.1%) had experienced some kind of unwanted sexual behaviour.

A worrying and concerning finding of the survey on the more extreme end was that women were nearly three times more likely to have been seriously sexually assaulted at work than men. 3.4% of women had experienced a serious sexual assault in the workplace compared to 1.4% of men.

The survey further showed that 1 in 10 people had experienced a lesser serious sexual assault (groping) in the workplace, 13.5% of women and 4.4% of men. Around 1 in 20 women (5.2%) also reported experiencing suggestions that their career would be advanced in exchange for sexual favours, compared with 2.3% of men. The most common behaviours that participants were subjected to ranged from unwelcome jokes and wolf whistles to porn in the workplace and serious sexual assault and rape.

For those that have spent decades in the workplace, sexual harassment at work is certainly not a new occurrence, however it has only recently prompted reflection due to recent events in the public eye and is now being recognised as unacceptable conduct and more people feel they are able to speak out about it.

Asked whether the standard of conduct in the workplace had generally improved over the past decade, 72% of people said it had improved and 28% said it had declined, with men and women answering broadly the same

There was a general optimism among most people surveyed that the recent incidents would bring sustained improvements in behaviour, but almost a third thought the scandals were irrelevant to people’s behaviour.

Confidence that things would change was highest among younger people, three quarters of 18 to 34-year-olds expected to see long-term changes in behaviour, while about a third of over-65s had their doubts.

If you believe you’ve suffered from sexual harassment at work please call us today  for a free, confidential call on 0113 200 9787  or fill in the contact us form above and one of our solicitors will get back to you as soon as possible.

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