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The effects of the #metoo movement on sexual harassment at work

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2019 | Sexual Harassment |

When the #MeToo movement first took off in America, it mostly tackled the entertainment industry in Hollywood. Men in power were exposed for habitually taking advantage of younger women seeking fame or success. It soon spread into corporate and politics, thus making its way to D.C. and even The White House itself.

Forbes notes that it was only a matter of time before awareness of sexual harassment hit corporate environments. Statistics now show that regardless of geography or industry, women face high rates of sexual harassment all around the world. Up to 102 million women in the European Union and 33.6 million women in the U.S. have experienced sexual harassment.

What is worse is that current laws remain ineffective at preventing these situations from continuing or worsening. Fortunately, more businesses are beginning to understand that the fight to reduce instances of sexual harassment is a matter of cultural changes rather than legal stipulations or mere words in employee handbooks. This may make the one-third of women who remain silent feel more comfortable to speak out.

CNN confirms this speculation. Since the #MeToo movement exploded, there has been a 12% increase in the sexual harassment claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency also reported a 50% increase in the suits it filed to tackle sexual harassment claims at work. In spite of all this, the EEOC reports that far more than just a third of women never file a complaint with their employer. Instead, their estimates stand at a whopping 70% of people overall.

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