But, as luck would have it as an employment lawyer, imagine my surprise when I saw this headline:
“He Did WHAT?! The Cosmo Guide to Surviving Sexual Harassment at Work“.
Of course, this was right below the $10 Beauty Bonanza headline, but for the sake of the blog, I was determined to get to the bottom of this.
But just then, the nurse called me back for the doctor’s appointment. Oh well.
As luck would have it though, the articles are now online for all. And while it would be easy to dismiss this as just “headlines”, it’s actually worth a passing read by employers. Cosmo did a survey of 2235 women on this issue and while I wouldn’t take the statistical authenticity all too seriously, the survey did have some surprising and troubling results.
I’ve read it so you don’t have to and here are the tips I’ve gleaned:
1. The women surveyed report a higher rate of harassment or sexual conduct in the workplace than you might think.
- One in three women aged 18-34 believes that they have been sexually harassed;
- Just 29 percent of those who believe they have been harassed reported it to their employer;
- 75 percent surveyed said it was male co-workers who sexually harassed them, though 50 percent or so report harassment by male clients or customers.
There are several takeaways from this but here are two: Harassment by co-workers is still prevalent and that a lot of it is going unreported.
2. There are ways to respond to harassment besides filing a claim.
In another article entitled “Six Ways to Respond to Sexual Harassment”, Cosmo provides some tips to its readers. Notably, the first tip is a solid one: Tell the person to stop. And even more notably, filing a claim isn’t really listed as the best option. Nevertheless, employers need to remind employees that they should report harassment (and must report it if, as a manager, they hear or see about it.)
3. Technology is a blessing and a curse.
Technology has been great for the workplaces. E-mail allows us to communicate better and faster, for example. But there is a dark side to it as well. The Cosmo article and survey reports 25 percent of the women who were harassed faced lewd texts or e-mails. For employers, this is a constant reminder that your systems still need monitoring and employers ought to be reminded about what is (or is not) appropriate.