Sexual Harassment

Our research found 35% of female lawyers surveyed in 2015 described facing gender based discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. Many respondents did not report anything out of fear of career repercussions or uncertainty about what constituted sexual harassment.

When this behavior was reported, respondents did not feel that their complaint was handled properly. Most respondents who experienced sexual harassment stated that they had dealt with it on their own. Others described inappropriate behavior but did not expect it to be dealt with. Feelings of fear, shame, and the general taboo of sexual harassment may result in denial of the problem. Further education for all genders about understanding sexual harassment is needed.

In the study, researchers at the University of Melbourne looked at 88 independent studies involving over 73,000 working women and found that even seemingly small acts of sexism could have a huge impact - that frequent sexist wisecracks, comments and office cultures where women are ignored are just as damaging to women as single instances of sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention Furthermore the study found that sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace had just as much of a negative impact on a woman's work attitudes and health as things like poor working conditions or being overworked.

To learn more about our research see the Needs Assessment.