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Study shows women in leadership positions are still harassed

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2020 | Employment Law

Although both men and women in Michigan can be victims of sexual harassment, workplace harassment cases usually involve men mistreating female subordinates. However, a study from the Swedish Institute for Social Research found that women who are positions of power may be more likely to experience sexual harassment at work. The survey analyzed the experiences of worker in Sweden, Japan and the United States to obtain its results. It found that women in positions of power were 30 to 100% more likely to be harassed.

The likelihood of a woman being a sexual harassment victim increased when that person was in charge of a group of men. Study participants were asked if they had experienced sexual assault in the prior 12 months. Participants were also asked if they had experienced a series of behaviors that may be construed as inappropriate.

Researchers believed that women in leadership positions were more likely to experience harassment because they were interacting with greater numbers of people. It was also possible for a woman to be mistreated both by subordinates as well as supervisors higher up within the company. The data did indicate that women were less likely to be harassed as they moved higher within an organization, and this was because they interacted with fewer people at higher levels of the organizational hierarchy.

Individuals who face discrimination at work because of their gender may be victims of employment law violations. Employees who believe that they have been treated improperly at work may wish to hire an attorney. He or she may be able to help with litigation, arbitration or other steps in the legal process. Having legal counsel might maximize a person’s chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in a sexual harassment case.