When many people hear about workplace sexual harassment, they tend to think of a powerful man mistreating a women who works for him. However, a study has found that even women in powerful positions can be victims of sexual harassment on the job. In fact, women in positions of power in California and around the country may be even more likely to be victims of harassment. This is because managers interact with a larger number of people, which provides additional opportunities to be mistreated.
The study from the Swedish Institute for Social Research gathered data from workers in Sweden, the United States, and Japan. Researchers asked respondents to say whether they had experienced a variety of behaviors that could be considered sexual harassment. They were also asked whether they believed that they had been victims of sexual harassment at work. Past research has indicated that people are less likely to report abuse at work if the question is phrased in a subjective manner.
Therefore, researchers decided that it was important to ask both objective and subjective questions. Overall, the study found that women in leadership positions were 30% to 100% more likely to be sexually harassed at work. However, the study did find that they were less likely to be victimized as they moved higher within the company and interacted with fewer people.
Those who have been subjected to unwanted sexual advances or other forms of improper behavior may wish to have legal assistance. Harassment victims may be entitled to compensation or other forms of relief from their employers.