Every day there are dozens of sexual harassment cases that are filed.
Many organisations face a lot of women harassment reports and it is something that has yet to be dealt with accordingly.
In this day and age, matters concerning sexual relations are still taboo, despite the efforts and knowledge that is out there to educate us about sexuality.
Managers would not like to accept that there is any sexual harassment going on in their offices, much less towards women. If they do acknowledge it, most try to cover it up.
Women sexual harassment keeps on getting worse by the days because of a variety of reasons.
It is no lie that women are vulnerable creatures in every facet of their lives, including the office workplace.
We must address all these causes of women sexual harassment in the office and how we can stop it to foster good relationships in the office.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment refers to any sexual advances that are not welcomed by the recipient.
Sexual harassment involves uninvited comments, behaviour or bad conduct regarding someone else’s sex, gender or sexual orientation.
It may also be requested for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with an individual’s state of well being, performance or creates a hostile work environment.
What is Women Sexual Harassment?
Women harassment are those acts of sexual conduct, behaviour or attitudes that are geared towards women.
While we do not dispute that men also fall victim to sexual harassment in the office, the guns always point to women.
Study shows that more women than men report harassment cases every year.
A woman who lives in a Male-dominated society must find a way to survive all the punches they can get and come out alive.
What are Examples of Women Sexual Harassment?
This will include grabbing of hands, unnecessary patting or purposeful rubbing of your body against the victim.
This is wrong and offensive.
Making inappropriate sexual gestures
A woman feels sexually harassed by an employee who whistles, pouts and smacks their lips when she walks by.
Sharing inappropriate images or videos
Sharing sexually-oriented photos or videos with nudity without any consent is a form of women sexual harassment in the office.
Staring in a sexually suggestive manner
A person who keeps gazing at you in suggestive places is harassing you sexually.
Asking about sexual history or orientation
A woman is sexually harassed in the office when her coworkers snoop around asking about her sexual history and the type of people she appeals to.
Telling dirty jokes or sexual anecdotes
Lewd jokes are not welcomed in the office.
They are offensive and intimidating especially if they are directed towards women.
Displaying inappropriate posters in the workplace
This will include sexy advertisement posts. Women may find this a form of sexual harassment, especially if their coworkers keep staring and making comments about it.
Sending suggestive letters, notes or emails
This could be to talk about a woman’s appearance or request sexual favours.
This is offensive and should not be tolerated.
Making offensive comments about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity
Employees in the office should respect each other’s personal space and not give unsolicited opinions about women’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Why Do Women Face Sexual Harassment?
The majority of men occupy the high seats in the corporate system.
Thus a feeling of authority makes them turn into oppressors who sexually harass women in the office to give them a promotion or hire them for work.
Moral values, divorce and cultural differences
Our society is culturally diverse with people from different groups being taught their own values.
When they meet in the office and they do not have standard acceptable rules on how women should be treated, they end up sexually harassing them.
False bravado and aggressiveness
Men in groups tend to develop this false air of importance and aggressiveness towards women.
This makes them direct sexual gestures and advances towards women.
Victim shaming and blaming
Women who come forward to file their sexual harassment claims are often not believed to be telling the truth.
And if they do, they tend to cover up these accusations.
This makes women feel that it is pointless to come forward.
How women and men were brought up to see themselves and others strongly influences their behaviours.
These different viewpoints create a climate that allows women to be sexually harassed in the office.
Lack of company policy
A company that does not put in strict policies and disciplinary measures in the office workplace allows women sexual harassment because oppressors know that they can get away with it.
What are the Effects of Women Sexual Harassment?
Ruined relationships with coworkers
Sexual harassment builds hostility and an uncomfortable relationship among employees.
A person who does hot feel respected or valued in the office may not be on good terms with others.
When a woman is sexually harassed, she may undergo a mental breakdown which forces her to stay off work to avoid encounters with her oppressors.
A manager is forced to fire employees who are caught in numerous sexual harassment cases in the office. Women may also resign and leave the work altogether.
Loss of confidence in superiors
A manager may feel threatened by lawsuits and overall business failure if they cannot maintain positive employee relationships. This may make them have second thoughts about how his team will propel his business towards success.
Costs associated with litigation regarding sexual harassment
When a court judges in favour of the victim of sexual harassment, a business will have to pay for litigation and compensation. This will lead to more expenses incurred.
Decrease in productivity and worker longevity leads to monetary loss for the organisation because there will be a lack of morale to carry out work efficiently.
Costs required for management and minimization of damage to organisation reputation through public relations.
Sexual harassment cases taint a company’s reputation in a very bad light once the news gets out.
Mitigation costs have to be included to avoid such scenarios.
Costs associated with hiring new employees to replace those who leave due to sexual harassment experiences
A company may also lose skilled employees because of this.
It then has to go through the whole thorough hiring procedure which is expensive.
How to Stop Women Sexual Harassment
Policy and procedure
A company must have stringent policies and procedures that talk about sexual harassment in the office together with the penalties for such actions.
This will discourage anyone who intends to harass anyone in the office.
It is important to inform employees how they can correlate with others in the office. How to respect and avoid coming into people’s personal spaces.
Proper training should be given on what needs to be done about sexual harassment and what sexual harassment really is.
This knowledge is important because employees are aware of what to do and what not to do in an office.
If anyone one person is guilty of sexual harassment, they should be investigated and be punished severely.
This comes as a lesson to other people to steer clear of such bad behaviours.
What To Do If You’re Sexually Harassed at Work
Let your “No” be a NO
If someone comes at you suggestively, it is in your power to strongly reprimand and warn them about this act.
Tell them you do not feel respected by how they talk or behave around you.
Set clear boundaries.
Record the incident
When you are sexually harassed, make it a point to write down what happened. Include the dates, time and place where this happened.
This will come in handy when you decide to move forward with your complaint.
Report to HR
The Human Resource manager is in charge of all things that surround the employees.
Take this case to your human resource manager and give them the report you have made.
Always keep a copy.
Start a paper trail
Keep a record in writing of what you complained about and every other action that was taken after it.
This will give you a clear perspective of how the company is moving forward with your complaint.
Use the grievance procedure at work
If there are policies for dealing with sexual harassment cases in your organisation, use this to put your complaint forward.
Inform your union
The union will keep track and help you file a lawsuit if the organisation does not take any action.
File a lawsuit
Take your case to court if the organisation does not help you in your case. Have a good attorney to help you win the case.
Why Is It Important to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Preventing sexual harassment has benefits to both the organisation and na individual.
Foster good relationships
When employees respect each other and do not cross boundaries, then they can work together in peace and harmony.
Conducive working environment
Sexual harassment brings about an offensive and hostile environment.
Getting rid of this will create an environment where both men and women can thrive.
Increased work productivity
Overall work input will increase because when employees respect each other, they can effectively perform well in teams to achieve a common goal.
Upholding company values
It is a good image for a company that does not fall into sexual harassment scandals because it means that employees comply with the policies put in place.
Adherence to laws addressing sexual harassment
Preventing sexual harassment will help the organisation not fall into the wrong hands with society when in comes to obeying the law.
Sexual harassment towards women keeps on being a nightmare because women are often sexually objectified wherever they go.
It is important to know how to respect one another regardless of any rules and policies that are put in place. It is basic human decency.
In a society where men’s voices are most heard, women should be protected from whatever abuse, including sexual harassment.