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Saturday, April 19, 2014

52% of women have been bullied or harassed at work in the past three years 04-19

52% of women have been bullied or harassed at work in the past three years

A new survey from Opportunity Now discovered widespread discrimination against women in the workplace and a culture of silence that allows it to continue

52% of women said they felt bullied or harassed at work
52% of women said they felt bullied or harassed at work Photograph: Alamy
52% of women have experienced bullying or harassment at work in the past three years, a new survey from Opportunity Now claims.
The organisation spoke to more than 23,000 women and 2,000 men about their experiences at work and found that women routinely feel undermined and excluded by their colleagues. Women with disabilities, who were black or African-Caribbean, or LGBT suffered more bullying and harassment, with 71% of disabled women reporting instances of it.
Helena Morrissey, chair of Opportunity Now and founder of the 30% Club said that high levels of bullying and harassment felt by women was backed up by the men who responded to the survey.
"They corroborated the women's stories. They'd seen this happen," she said.
The survey defined bullying and harassment as being blocked from training or promotion opportunities, being deliberately undermined, overbearing supervision, unfair treatment and exclusion or victimisation. One problem seems to be the lack of support for employees who find themselves in this position.
Kathryn Nawrockyi, director of Opportunity Now, said there was a "culture of silence around bullying, with only 1% of people saying they'd reported it. Workplace culture encourages people to leave rather than report problems".
A clear example of the sort of treatment women face on a daily basis came from one anonymous respondent, "I don't feel bullied but I do feel I'm treated differently ... male clients will talk to the leading male automatically regardless if I'm the actual lead on the job ... Another one [client] just assumes I'm the PA ... he always asks for a male colleague first".
Despite preconceptions that women at board level should have gained the respect of their peers, 52% of them also felt they'd experienced some form of bullying or harassment. One suggestion for this is that the smaller number of women at this level make them a target for abuse.
The report also showed discrimination against flexible workers. 64% of respondents felt that those who worked flexibly did not progress at the same rate as their peers, even if their input is similar. One reason for this lack of promotion might be a feeling that they're not as committed to the organisation as non-flexible workers.
Even though 40% of those surveyed felt that flexible working was valued by their organisation, 46% also felt that those with the option of being flexible with their working hours were resented by their colleagues.

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