Research perspectives

Young women warn of ‘talk but no action’ on sexual harassment at work

Research by the Young Women’s Trust has revealed that one in four women still fear they will lose their job by reporting sexual harassment suggesting that progress in ending sexual harassment at work is still very slow. Concerns are higher among young women of colour and young women with a disability or long-term health condition, with 30% and 37% respectively fearing dismissal if they reported sexual harassment.

The research, based on a survey of nearly two thousand women aged 18 to 30, found that almost a third of respondents said there had been ‘talk but no action’ since the #MeToo movement started in 2017. 16% knew of cases of sexual harassment that had been reported but not dealt with seriously, while 5% said they had to leave their jobs because of sexual harassment, assault or abuse. Poor access to information about how to report sexual harassment was a further concern, with almost a third saying they would not be sure who to go to if they wanted to report an incident. Just 6 per cent of women who had experienced sexual harassment at work had reported it.