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Underreporting of Sexual Harassment in Tech

September 26th, 2017

Delaware County Sexual Harassment Lawyers: Underreporting of Sexual Harassment in TechThe tech industry has dealt with its fair share of sexual harassment complaints within the last couple of years. Former employees of Tesla, Uber, and investment firms have all spoken out about inappropriate behavior from tech heavyweights that are well-known investors and founders. However, the recent accusations are just the tip of the iceberg. A large number of sexual harassment complaints in the tech industry go unreported.

Women Who Tech, a nonprofit organization, recently conducted an anonymous survey to determine the number of women and men that have experienced sexual harassment within the industry. The survey also probed the reason so many people choose to remain silent. The study was comprised of different players within the tech industry: employees, investors, and founders.

The diversity of subjects was important because there is a direct relationship between investor and founder behavior, as well as company culture. Some of the women that refused to speak out about sexual harassment were afraid of their company’s investors and founders. They feared major backlash or retaliation for speaking out. The anonymity allowed workers to speak freely and openly about company culture and sexual harassment.

Women and Men Speak Out

In total, 750 women and 200 men agreed to be anonymous respondents in the survey. The survey included questions about suppressed conversations, work-life balance, and sexual harassment. Workplace incidents and suppressed conversations is a section of the survey that delves into the company culture and environment. Researchers polled male and female respondents about the pressure they felt regarding speaking about family issues, religion, and politics at work. There may be a direct correlation between workplaces where freedom of speech is stifled, and in which sexual harassment runs rampant.

Over 50 percent of women admitted to being sexually harassed at work. Approximately 38 percent of men admitted to seeing harassment at work. The numbers were the same for women with 37 percent of female respondents admitting to witnessing workplace harassment. Fifty-three percent of male respondents admitted that they have never experienced sexual harassment nor have they witnessed workplace harassment.

An overwhelming majority of female respondents that have experienced sexual harassment admit that a fellow co-worker was the perpetrator. Male respondents admitted that supervisors and senior leadership members were more prone to sexually harass them. Moreover, thirty-seven percent of men admitted to being sexually harassed by a member of senior leadership.

Type of Harassment

The type of harassment respondents endured also varied. Seventy-two percent of female respondents claimed perpetrators passed sexist remarks; fifty-one percent have overheard an offensive slur directed to them; and forty-five percent have experienced overt sexual advances or behavior.

Men in the tech industry are most likely to experience harassment in the form of offensive jokes, ageism, and attacks against their professional character. Almost 60 percent of men and women claim they have been harassed at least six times or more. A large percentage of women also claim offensive jokes and unwanted physical contact are the most common forms of harassment. This survey proved that sexual harassment is a pervasive problem within the tech industry that affects many women and men at all levels.

Delaware County Sexual Harassment Lawyers Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Sexual Harassment Victims Seek Justice

If you have experienced sexual harassment and you are afraid to speak out, you are not alone. Delaware County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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