Research perspectives

HR decision-makers concerned about workplace sexism

A YouGov survey of 800 HR decision-makers, carried out on behalf of the charity Young Women’s Trust, has found that 12 per cent of those working for large employers knew sexual harassment in their companies went unreported and 10 per cent were aware of formal sexual harassment complaints. In the same survey  76 per cent of female HR professionals, and 63 per cent of all HR practitioners believe sexism still exists in most workplaces.

This is in tune with research in 2016 by the TUC and the Everyday Sexism Project that showed more than half (52 per cent) of 1,533 women surveyed had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) said they had experienced unwanted touching and a fifth (20 per cent) said they had received uninvited verbal sexual advances. However, 79 per cent of respondents did not report the incident to their employers, whilst 28 per cent of those who did not report sexual harassment stated that they were worried it would hurt their workplace relationships, 20 per cent said they were either too embarrassed or felt they would not be taken seriously, and 15 per cent thought it would negatively impact on their career prospects.