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Oncologists Experience Sexual Harassment

November 25th, 2019

Sexual harassment can happen to any employee at any level, including individuals pursuing doctoral degrees at prestigious institutions. A recent survey from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology indicated just how prevalent harassment could be for women studying to become oncologists. The results show that the widespread problem of being treated inappropriately due to gender knows no educational or industry boundaries.

Survey Reveals Harassment Realities and Disparities

The survey, which was sent to Society of Gynecologic Oncology members, was returned by more than 400 participants. In answering the questions, 71 percent of female oncologists noted that they had been sexually harassed during their residency or a training period. Between 51 and 58 percent of survey respondents said their harassment was verbal, between 23 and 30 percent said a colleague made unwanted advances, and four percent were asked to perform sexual acts in exchange for some type of quid pro quo favor.

The harassment and gender disparities revealed in the survey showcase just how difficult it can be for women to get ahead in the medical field. Over one-third of the surveyed women said their gender made it more challenging for them to receive a promotion or be considered for advancement. A full 42 percent lamented that their salary prospects were lower than their male counterparts simply because they were female.

Additionally, the harassment weaved into the women’s documented performance and abilities. While still in training, 31 percent of the emerging female oncologists said that their responses to sexual harassment had a negative effect on the academic reviews or evaluations they received, potentially affecting their chances for future jobs.

Effects of Sexual Harassment During Training and Residency

female doctorLike many victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, the majority of survey respondents who had been harassed decided not to speak up. Only 17 percent of female oncology residents or those in training reported their experiences, leaving their harassers to continue without discipline. Their reasons for not talking about sexual harassment varied, with 37 percent saying nothing would happen if they spoke up, 40 percent lacking confidence in their self-worth to speak up, and about a third concerned their harasser or others would retaliate.

The overarching message of the survey and its results is that sexual harassment is a real problem, and one that continues without justice to the victims far too often. Although sexual harassment by a coworker or a supervisor may be difficult to prove in court, it is against the law. Therefore, victims who experience any type of harassment should always feel free to talk with a sexual harassment attorney.

To help their case and hold their harassers to a higher standard in court, victims of harassment may want to keep full documentation of incidents of harassment and intimidation. If possible, they should jot down potential witnesses to events, in case they pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit later.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Help Victims of Unwanted Advances Obtain Justice

Sexual harassment in the workplace is always morally wrong and, by law, illegal. If you have been harassed by a colleague, professor, or some other individual in a position of power, contact a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.

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