Women in leadership positions face more sexual harassment

phys.org | 6/19/2019 | Staff
shardonayshardonay (Posted by) Level 3
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Power in the workplace does not stop women's exposure to sexual harassment. On the contrary, women with supervisory positions are harassed more than women employees. These are the results from a new study from the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University, which examined the conditions in Sweden, the U.S. and Japan.

By analyzing the responses from three surveys, researchers at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, SOFI, at Stockholm University, together with fellow American and Japanese researchers, have studied the prevalence of sexual harassment across the organizational hierarchy. The study shows that women with supervisory positions experienced between 30 and 100 percent more sexual harassment than other women employees. This was true across the United States, Japan and Sweden, three countries with different gender norms and levels of gender equality in the labour market. Comparing levels of leadership, exposure to harassment was greatest at lower levels of leadership, but remained substantial and similar to the level of harassment for the highest positions.

Harassment - Exposure - Women - Power - Workplace

"When we first started to study sexual harassment, we expected a higher exposure for women with less power in the workplace. Instead we found the contrary. When you think about it, there are logical explanations: a supervisor is exposed to new groups of potential perpetrators. She can be harassed both from her subordinates and from higher-level management within the company. More harassment from these two groups is also what we saw when we asked the women who had harassed them," says Johanna Rickne, Professor of Economics at SOFI.

In all three countries, women with supervisory positions were subject to more harassment when their subordinates consisted of mostly men.

Harassment - Women - Career - Advancement - Cost

"Sexual harassment means that women's career advancement comes at a higher cost than men's, especially in male-dominated industries and firms. Additional survey data...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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