Almost every person knows of someone who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. It is not uncommon for the victims of sexual harassment to feel ashamed and afraid of social retaliation if they speak out. As a result, many people keep their experiences as a secret locked in a box.
But this is slowly changing. Following the recent wake of allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, an increasing number of women from all over the world has found the courage to unlock these burdensome boxes.
As prominent Hollywood actors, golden-medal winning athletes, and female members of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have come forward to share their stories, we finally began to grasp the extent of the problem.
What seems to be different this time is that these women are finding the safe space to be heard.
“I believe the #metoomovement and the fact that more people are supporting and listening to the victims have really encouraged a lot of women to siege this opportunity to voice their own experiences of sexual harassment in their everyday lives, including at work,” explains Telfer School of Management Professor Jane O’Reilly. Professor O’Reilly is doing research on interpersonal mistreatment in organizations, including sexual harassment.
Click here if you would like to learn why organizations should take even subtle forms of sexual harassment seriously in order to create a respectful workplace environment.