Workplace Harassment: Entry Level to C-Suite
In 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 5,581 claims of sexual harassment, resulting in over $61 million in direct settlements. While workplaces should make employees feel safe, comfortable and empowered to share ideas, 56% of employees have witnessed or experienced such harassment in the workplace. Whether workplace bullying, discriminatory bias, online harassment, gender bias or any other type of unwelcomed conduct, harassment in the workplace is prevalent. From entry-level to C-suite, we’re reviewing how workplace misconduct and harassment affects individuals at varying career levels.
Entry-level positions are those that allow new professionals to enter the workforce with little to no experience. Although this might be the starting point to one’s career, that does not mean these workers should be subjected to workplace misconduct of any form. Almost three-quarters of victims experienced harassment by someone more senior than them, with 57% of employees leaving their jobs due to a manager. According to the EEOC, workers in these entry-level positions might be less aware of workplace norms and laws. In addition, they may lack the self-assurance to challenge the misconduct at work, allowing superiors to take advantage of them.
In the height of the ‘Me Too’ movement, the Gandalf Group’s quarterly C-suite survey found that 94% of C-suite executives did not see harassment as a problem in their workplace. Now, five years later, research shows that women in leadership roles face higher rates of workplace harassment than women in lower-ranking positions. In fact, women in executive positions face between 30% to 100% more sexual harassment than other women workers. Women in these C-suite roles are open to misconduct by both subordinates and higher-ranking colleagues, and the consequences of demotions leaves them with more to lose if they report the harassment.
Workplace harassment impacts organizations of all sizes and employees of all ranks. From entry-level workers being taken advantage of due to lack of workforce experience and C-suite women leaders being at greater risk of sexual harassment, there is no employment status that automatically exempts one from the dangers of misconduct at work. This indicates just how crucial it is for organizations to cultivate cultures of integrity and trust with an unbiased third-party investigation process to resolve any workplace issues efficiently. Work Shield is the only solution to protect employees at all levels, empowering them to speak up to stop the toxic behavior.
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