Monday 16 September 2019

Revealed: One in five women 'is harassed in workplace'

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

The National Women's Council has called for legislation to help protect women in workplaces after a study revealed 21pc of female workers have suffered sexual harassment.

Orla O'Connor, director of the National Women's Council (NWC), said she was "not surprised" by the figures showing such a high number of women experience sexual harassment at work.

A code of practice on sexual harassment and harassment at work is in place under the Human Rights Equality Commission, but Ms O'Connor said legislation is necessary to bolster this.

The Matrix Recruitment Workplace Equality Survey listed the experiences of more than 1,000 workers in Ireland.

One in five women reported experiencing sexual harassment in their workplace, compared to just 12pc of men.

Some 50pc of women stated they had suffered some type of discrimination in work - ranging from sexual harassment to pay inequality and gender stereotypes, while 35pc of men had been victims of similar discrimination.

Over one in four women (27pc) said they had a male colleague in the same role being paid a higher salary.

"From our work with women, especially young women, they talk a lot about sexual harassment and it is something they expect to occur," Ms O'Connor said.

"I'm not surprised by this study. It shows how much we have to do in relation to sexual harassment in terms of workplace cultures and what happens in the workplace and how sexual harassment must be addressed.

"Some women are uncomfortable calling this out, particularly if they are in a workplace where there's a majority of men."

Irish Independent

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