You don’t have to be an actress or a model……
You don’t have to be an actress or a model to be sexually harassed at work. Radio 5 live’s survey of about 2,000 people found that 53% of women and 20% of men had experienced sexual harassment at work or in a place of study. The harassment ranged from inappropriate comments to sexual assaults. Of those who had suffered harassment, 63% of the women and 79% of the men did not report it. The main reasons given for not reporting it were embarrassment, fear of reprisal or that nothing would be done about it anyway.
The survey found that 30% of the workplace harassment experienced by women, and 12% experienced by men, was carried out by a boss or senior manager. These findings fit with those of a TUC survey in August 2016, which found that 52% of women had been sexually harassed at work and that most did not report it.
It’s clear from these surveys that sexual harassment at work is common and change will have to happen if it’s to be stopped. It would be a major achievement and deterrent if those who are subject to it felt able to report it, and also if those who observe it felt able to speak up and call it out. The more powerful the harasser, the harder that is to achieve.
Hopefully most places are not as bad as the film industry, but it is worth making clear where the boundaries lie, and that over stepping the mark should be reported by everyone and will not be ignored.