First and foremost, anyone can be targeted by sexual harassment, regardless of their gender, age, race or any other factor. It’s problematic to stereotype groups and paint them as victims or perpetrators in all cases, as that overlooks many instances in which the roles are reversed.
That said, it is no secret that women experience more sexual harassment than men. In many cases, it can actually push them right out of certain career paths.
The reason this happens, some believe, is because there is a “hostile macho culture” that caters to men at the expense of women. When looking specifically at SET (science, engineering and tech) careers, which women were quickly leaving, one expert wrote that:
“Women in SET are marginalized by lab coat, hard hat, and geek workplace cultures that are often exclusionary and predatory.”
Reports at the time claimed that a stunning 63 percent of these women had experienced sexual harassment within these workplaces. They did not feel safe and they really felt that the industries were run by men, for men. That’s why they stopped working in them, not because they lacked the interest or the abilities to do so.
You can see how this type of macho culture can be very problematic. The modern workplace is supposed to be inclusive for everyone, but it is clear that some industries do not extend the same invitation to all workers. That’s something that needs to change moving forward.
Have you experienced sexual harassment at work? If you have, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you can take.