London, 30 December 2017
Most of the cases in the United Kingdom and Ireland
The negative headlines don’t want to stop –More and more cases of sexual harassment at work are coming to be known. Company celebrations in Advent time provide with their for one thing relaxed and on the downside alcoholized environment numerous opportunities for possible misbehaviour. The job search engine Jobswype took this opportunity to ask its users in Europe if they have ever been sexually harassed at a company christmas celebration. Sobering realisation of the poll: Averagely one third of European employees are affected by it, whereby the United Kingdom and Ireland are leading the harassment numbers with 55 to 62 percent.
The European overview reveals a dividing line between continental and isle Europe. While on the continental side of Europe all in all between 21 (Austria) and 30 per cent (Poland) have already been sexually harassed at a company christmas celebration, in Ireland and the United Kingdom these numbers are climbing to alarmingly 38 respectively 45 percent.
“Certainly these numbers show, even if their absolute value appears small, that sexual harassment at work is unfortunately commonplace. Because whether every second or “just” every third employee is being harassed is only making a statistical difference. Thereby affected persons should be aware of the fact that the law is on their side. In every European country anti discrimination laws are existing that are engaging in that case,” summarises Christian Erhart, Jobswype director, the results of the poll.
Affected persons remain silent out of fear or because of prejudices
Nevertheless, many affected people remain silent - out of fear to lose their jobs or because they fear that talking with their bosses could make the situation even worse. This vicious circle has been called attention to by numerous female victims of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The case has triggered a proper surge of indignation respectively solidarity with the victims. Numerous woman talked about their experiences with harassment on social media under the hashtag #metoo. “Women are still prefered victims of sexual harassment, though it is assumed that men can be equally affected but restrain from reporting because of prevailing role concept of genders,” say Erhart.
Personnel departments and supervisors with tact are demanded
“By prevention, companies are able to scotch this phenomenon. To prevent these incidents from happening completely unfortunately seems impossible. Still, it is possible to sensitize employees at relevant courses,” recommends Jobswype director Christian Erhart. A further idea would be the designation of confidants of the same gender whom affected persons can address in case of harassment. “These are small steps which are nevertheless demonstrating to the employees that everyone can feel safe at work and that there is no tolerance for misbehaviour from side of the company.”
This poll has been conducted by Jobswype in November 2017. 1 094 persons took part throughout Europe.
Sexual harassment at company celebrations? Jobswype-poll shows: On average every third to fourth European employee is affected.