One in twelve women sexually harassed in the workplace

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 found.

The study, carried out by HR consultancy Reabur, found that women often did not report sexual harassment because they felt it would affect their future career or that they would not be taken seriously.

Sexist comments were a problem for 21% of women and 2% said they had been inappropriately touched by a male collegue at work. Few women told anyone about incidents of inappropriate touching, many of them fearing they may have been seen as overreacting.

Kirsty Burgess, co-managing director of Reabur, said: “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 collegue. On many occassions 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.

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.

The research by Reabur surveyed 1,496 women.

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