Workplace Sexual Harassment

A vital aspect of tackling the serious problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is ensuring that staff are aware of (and have readily available) multiple effective channels to report incidents to those who will take action.

 

According to our survey, however, 35% of those who personally experienced sexual harassment on the job were not aware of or had no employer-provided training about how to report it at the time of the incident. Twenty-six percent (26%) of respondents either had no option available or were not aware of how to report the incident.

 

  • Thirty-five percent of those who personally experienced sexual harassment on the job either had not received employer-provided training or did not know of any employer-provided training about how to report it at the time of the incident.

  • Over 80% said concerns about anonymity, retaliation, accessibility of an impersonal reporting tool and/or accessibility of a trusted manager were very important factors in their decision.

  • An app hosted by a third party that allows users the choice of being anonymous was 70% more likely to be used to report an incident of sexual harassment than a telephone hotline, 64% more likely than a web form and 58% more likely than reporting directly to a manager.

 

* The anonymous survey was conducted online from a representative sample of 400 U.S.-based employees over 18 years of age from the Telecommunications, Finance, Insurance, Health Care, Information Services and Utilities sectors who personally experienced at least one instance of sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

Key Considerations for Reporting Decisions

When asked about their decision regarding whether or not to report job-related sexual harassment, respondents said that concerns about anonymity (82%), retaliation (84%), accessibility of an impersonal reporting tool such as an app or hotline (85%) or trusted manager (86%) were very important. The single-biggest factor, with 89% responding it was very or vitally important, was a personal expectation about whether or not someone would respond to their report.

 

Tools Available for Employee Helpline Reporting

While there have been significant advances in employee training methods in recent years, much less attention has been given to ensuring that employee helpline reporting methods keep pace with employee expectations. The survey indicated an appetite for more modern helpline reporting tools:

 

  • 85% responded that availability of an impersonal reporting method was an important factor in making a decision on whether or not to report an incident. 

  • An app hosted by a third party that allows users the choice of being anonymous was 70% more likely to be used to report an incident of sexual harassment than a telephone hotline, 64% more likely than a web form and 58% more likely than reporting directly to a manager. 

  • Only five percent of survey participants reported that an app hosted by a third party which allows users the choice of being anonymous was available at the time of the incident.

  • Those surveyed were 58% more likely to report an incident of sexual harassment via an anonymous and guided app experience. 91% responded that they were likely to return to the app to provide additional information or respond to questions as long as they could choose to remain anonymous, if desired.

*The survey included age groups: 18-24 (14.04 percent), 25-34 (44.11 percent), 35-44 (22.56 percent), 45-54 (12.53 percent), > 54 (6.77 percent). Gender: Female (87.22 percent), Male (12.78 percent).

Survey results are Copyright ©2018 by Arbor Insight LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material presented herein is intended to be available for public use. You may reproduce the content of the survey in any format or medium without first obtaining permission, subject to the following requirements: (1) the material must be reproduced accurately and not in a misleading manner; (2) any publication or issuance of any part of the material to others must acknowledge Neighborhood Watch® for Corporations as the source of the material; and (3) you may not receive any monetary consideration for reproducing, displaying, disclosing or otherwise using any part of the material.