Women are getting sexually harassed at work all the time. This can be in the form of sexual comments, advances or forced sexual activity. In the past, many women were scared to speak up for losing their job. Now there are laws that protect women from sexual harassment. So, the number of women protesting against these cruel acts is improving. According to a research conducted by the Trades Congress and Everyday Sexism Project, more than half of the women in the workplace has suffered from sexual harassment at work.
Susan Hutchison of Hutchison & Stoy list the common types of sexual harassment that women have to face on her law firm website.
Comments or gestures are made for violated women’s dignity and creating an offensive and humiliating environment to work in. Comments or behavior that portrays insulting attitudes towards women, like obscene jokes or humor told verbally or sent by email, hanging pictures of naked women, commenting on women’s body, etc. Making negative comments about child care when a female employee has to leave early to take care of the baby or putting things really high up on the shelf for women to reach are also sexual harassments.
This means offensive or inappropriate sexual advances like sexual invitations, persistent phone call or letters, asking for a date, etc. This type of acts must be reported to the higher authority.
Soliciting sexual activity in a promise of reward is known as sexual bribery. This form of invitation is not allowed in the workplace.
If someone conducts sexual activity by threatening to punish a female employee then it’s called sexual coercion. This may include giving negative performance evaluations, threatening of job termination or not giving the deserving promotion to the employee.
This includes forceful touching, sexual assault or rape. There is a law against such act and it is violating workplace rules. Anyone who is involved in sexual imposition may end up in prison.
In many workplaces now there is an anti-harassment policy which protects women’s rights. The female workers must be aware of these policies and know what to do when they are being harassed. The HR professionals in companies must take equal opportunity training to make sure that there is no sexual harassment in the workplace. They should be aware of the policies so that they can take appropriate actions. Proper investigations must be made and sound judgment must be given to cases of sexual harassment at workplace.