Half of American women have been harassed

Survey suggests widespread workplace harassment, but also indicates shift in attitudes

Half of American women have been harassed
Nearly half of working women in the US have experienced some form of harassment at their jobs and two thirds of Americans believe sexual harassment in the workplace is widespread, a poll has found.

An NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll, published Monday, revealed that 48% of women currently employed have experienced sexual, verbal or physical harassment in the workplace, TIME reported.

Two hundred sixty-five women and 286 men were polled between October 23 and October 26, after multiple claims of sexual harassment and abuse against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced and the #MeToo movement took off on social media.

According to the survey, 44% of women said recent news stories about harassment made them want to speak out about their experience.

Meanwhile, 77% of men said they were now more likely to speak out if they witness a woman being treated unfairly.

The recent spate of stories about misconduct has impacted how Americans think about gender, behavior in the workplace and their willingness to speak out about mistreatment, according to NBC News.

Other findings include:
  • 41% of currently employed men admit that they have personally witnessed the mistreatment of women in the workplace.
  • White women (51%) and women with a college education (55%) are more likely to say they’ve personally experienced harassment than women of color (43%) and women without a college education (43%).
  • Younger women are the most likely to cite personal experiences with harassment. More than half – 56% – of employed women under 35 say they’ve been the recipient of unwelcome sexual behavior at work.
  • Asked if recent press coverage of stories about sexual harassment has made them want to speak out about their own personal experiences, 44% of women agreed.
  • Nearly eight-in-ten women overall (78%) say that they are now more likely to speak out in the future if they are treated unfairly due to their gender.

Related stories:
Courts awarding higher penalties for sexual harassment
Uber exec asked to resign over harassment history

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