Studies have shown that between 40 – 70% of women and 10 – 20% of men have experienced sexual harassment within the workplace. Sexual harassment is described as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical contact in a sexual nature. Actions like this can have an effect on one’s work performance, or ultimately their employment.
When sexual harassment takes place within the workplace, it creates an intimidating, hostile or even offensive work environment for all parties involved. According to a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, 62% of companies offer sexual harassment prevention training programs, while 97% have a written policy in place.
There are two forms of sexual harassment that could take place within the work environment. One form is called quid pro quo., Quid Pro Quo is defined as: a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something. This is when an employee’s submission to sexual harassment is based upon an employment decision—a promotion, an assignment, or remaining employed. The second form of sexual harassment is when an employee’s work environment becomes intimidating, hostile or offensive.
Have you ever wondered who can be affected by sexual harassment? It’s quite simple—ANYONE! Whether you’re the victim or the harasser, there is no discrimination. The victim does not have to be the person who is actually being harassed. A victim of sexual harassment can be one who’s simply effected by offensive conduct. For example, if someone is having obscene conversations with another co-worker and it’s within the victims work area. The victim can be affected by this conversation.
It is important employees understand the importance of identifying sexual harassment, knowing the necessary steps to prevent it, and know what to do when it is recognized.
Mastery’s “Subtle Sexual Harassment: Management’s New Responsibilities” addresses these needs and more. In addition to this course, Mastery offers a list of courses addressing sexual harassment and its effects within the workplace. For a complete list, click here.
If you feel as though you have experienced sexual harassment within your workplace, talk with your supervisor or human resources personnel.