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Is Power a Trigger for Sexual Harassment?

August 8th, 2018

Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers speculate if power is a trigger for harassment. With the evolution of the MeToo movement, it is evident that sexual harassment is at an all-time high in the workplace. It has been stated that power affects people in three aspects of psychological functioning, including how information is processed, how emotions are experienced, and how behavior is exemplified due to the consequence. Many times, people of power focus on important information rather than becoming preoccupied with secondary, less important information.

Power also affects the way people empathize with others. It often causes people to react differently to certain situations because the perpetrator cannot see things the way the accuser sees them. Because of this, perpetrators are often incapable of understanding the emotions of their victims. People of power are also more likely to make first moves due to their action-focused personalities.

Can Certain Positions in the Workplace Cause Harassment?

Research shows that power can be a trigger for someone who is predisposed to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment also increases when power at the top of an organization is not equal across genders. Studies show that people who are labeled as superstars in the workplace often feel uninhibited. This can lead to the engagement of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Having women in power does not eliminate the problem but does allow men to view women as equals.

There is also fear that the MeToo movement can cause negative results. Men might fear mentoring women due to this movement. It is critical to have men sponsor and mentor women in the workplace. This mentorship can advance women and give them equal power. Some men feel they will be deemed as acting inappropriate if they sponsor or mentor women.

Solutions to the Problem

Organizations can institute the following tactics to tackle the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace:

  • Employees should review all policies and develop an impartial process of investigation.
  • A zero-tolerance policy must not only be put in place, but it should also be clear to the employees.
  • Employees should be aware of what is meant by harassment. A clear definition should be established.
  • All sexist behavior should be promptly addressed.
  • Gender parity should be a goal in the workplace.
  • Accusations should not be taken lightly.
  • The accuser should be protected from retaliation.
  • Action should be taken promptly.
  • A culture of inclusion should be formed in the workplace. Respect should be first and foremost.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Advocate for Victims Sexually Harassed in the Workplace

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. will fight to obtain the compensation and justice you deserve.  With an office centrally located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout the state of New Jersey.  Submit an online inquiry form or call us at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation today.

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