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Rise in office sexual harassment

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One in 12 women has felt sexually harassed in the workplace but less than half have reported it to another member of staff, research has revealed.

Female victims of sexual harassment have claimed that they do not raise alarm with HR officials or managers as they fear their career would be damaged or evidence would be ignored, a study by HR consultancy Reabur found.

Of the 1,496 women surveyed, sexist comments were a problem for 21% of women and 2% said they had been inappropriately touched by a male colleague at work.

Of the 16% of women who said they work in a male dominated environment, a quarter of women (26%) admitted to feeling uncomfortable in certain situations. However, 41% of women who work with men said they prefer it.

Despite the gravity of such incidents, few women told anyone about moments of inappropriate touching, as many feared they may have been seen as overreacting.

“It is concerning that many women still feel they will not be taken seriously. I would strongly advise any victim of harassment to report the incident to a manager or trusted colleague,” said Kirsty Burgess, Co-Managing Director of Reabur.

“On many occasions these situations can be resolved internally and the resolution makes for a much happier work environment.”

Some women also felt they were not respected in the workplace because of their gender. Nearly a quarter (23%) of women felt their male boss would promote a male colleague over them and 12% said they did not think their boss had as much faith in their abilities as they did in their male peers.

If incidents are not resolved and the appropriate actions not taken, victims are encouraged to seek legal advice about how best to challenge offenders.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

September 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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