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Sexual His ASSment.mp4

In every country, some groups confront barriers that prevent them from fully participating in political, economic, and social life. These groups may be excluded not only through legal systems, land, and labor markets, but also discriminatory or stigmatizing attitudes, beliefs, or perceptions. Disadvantage is often based on gender, age, location, occupation, race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship status, disability, and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), among other factors. This kind of social exclusion robs individuals of dignity, security, and the opportunity to lead a better life. Unless the root causes of structural exclusion and discrimination are addressed, it will be challenging to support sustainable inclusive growth and rapid poverty reduction.

Sexual His ASSment.mp4

The COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on deep-rooted systemic inequalities. As COVID-19 continues to have wide-reaching impacts across the globe, it is important to understand the differentiated and intensified impact the pandemic has on the most marginalized, including women, persons with disabilities, unemployed youth, sexual and gender minorities, the elderly, Indigenous Peoples, and ethnic and racial minorities. For example, many persons with disabilities have underlying health conditions that made them particularly vulnerable to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Women and children have been affected by increasing rates of domestic violence as a result of lockdowns and increased stress on households. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people have struggled more than ever to access health services and are overrepresented among those without access to social security. In some contexts, groups who have historically faced barriers to access to health systems due to discrimination on ethnic or racial grounds have had higher mortality rates than other groups and have experienced difficulty accessing information about the pandemic, access to equitable care, and access to vaccines.

Exclusion, or the perception of exclusion, may cause certain groups to opt out of markets, services, and spaces, with costs to both individuals and the economy. Globally, the loss in human capital wealth due to gender inequality alone is estimated at $160.2 trillion. Afro-descendants continue to experience significantly higher levels of poverty (2.5 times higher in Latin America). 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school. In many countries, it is especially difficult to tackle LGBTI exclusion, discrimination, and violence. To date, 70 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality.

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized claims for sexual harassment as a form of discrimination based on sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the years that followed, courts have filled in the legal landscape even further.

Six years ago, when we came to EEOC as commissioners, we were struck by how many cases of sexual harassment EEOC continues to deal with every year. What was further striking to us were the number of complaints of harassment on every other basis protected under equal employment opportunity laws the Commission deals with today. We are deeply troubled by what we have seen during our tenure on the Commission.

Workplace Harassment Remains a Persistent Problem. Almost fully one third of the approximately 90,000 charges received by EEOC in fiscal year 2015 included an allegation of workplace harassment. This includes, among other things, charges of unlawful harassment on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), race, disability, age, ethnicity/national origin, color, and religion. While there is robust data and academic literature on sex-based harassment, there is very limited data regarding harassment on other protected bases. More research is needed.

New and Different Approaches to Training Should Be Explored. We heard of several new models of training that may show promise for harassment training. "Bystander intervention training" - increasingly used to combat sexual violence on school campuses - empowers co-workers and gives them the tools to intervene when they witness harassing behavior, and may show promise for harassment prevention. Workplace "civility training" that does not focus on eliminating unwelcome or offensive behavior based on characteristics protected under employment non-discrimination laws, but rather on promoting respect and civility in the workplace generally, likewise may offer solutions.

It's On Us. Harassment in the workplace will not stop on its own - it's on all of us to be part of the fight to stop workplace harassment. We cannot be complacent bystanders and expect our workplace cultures to change themselves. For this reason, we suggest exploring the launch of an It's on Us campaign for the workplace. Originally developed to reduce sexual violence in educational settings, the It's on Us campaign is premised on the idea that students, faculty, and campus staff should be empowered to be part of the solution to sexual assault, and should be provided the tools and resources to prevent sexual assault as engaged bystanders. Launching a similar It's on Us campaign in workplaces across the nation - large and small, urban and rural - is an audacious goal. But doing so could transform the problem of workplace harassment from being about targets, harassers, and legal compliance, into one in which co-workers, supervisors, clients, and customers all have roles to play in stopping such harassment.

Because our focus was on prevention, we did not confine ourselves to the legal definition of workplace harassment. Instead, we looked at unwelcome or offensive conduct in the workplace that: (a) is based on sex (including sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender identity), race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, and/or genetic information; and (b) is detrimental to an employee's work performance, professional advancement, and/or mental health. This includes, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, undue attention, physical assaults or threats, unwelcome touching or contact, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, constant or unwelcome questions about an individual's identity, and offensive objects or pictures.

In 2008, she found herself working for New Breed Logistics, a supply-chain logistics company with a warehouse in Memphis. Her supervisor made a habit of directing sexually-explicit comments to Jacquelyn and her female coworkers. Indeed, it wasn't only sexually-explicit comments - there were lewd and vulgar gestures, and some days physical harassment as well, like the day he pressed his stomach and private parts into one woman's back. When these women asked him to "stop talking dirty to me" or "leave me alone," his response was that he "wasn't going to get into trouble, he ran the place"and if anyone complained to HR, they would be fired.

We could continue to chronicle stories of harassment we heard, including harassment based on disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity. EEOC's website is replete with such stories. But in this report, we focus on the social science describing the scope of the problem of workplace harassment and our proposed solutions.

Based on testimony to the Select Task Force and various academic articles, we learned that anywhere from 25% to 85% of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Given these widely divergent percentages, we dug deeper to understand what these numbers could tell us about the scope of harassment based on sex.

We found that when employees were asked, in surveys using a randomly representative sample (called a "probability sample"), if they had experienced "sexual harassment," without that term being defined in the survey, approximately one in four women (25%) reported experiencing "sexual harassment" in the workplace. This percentage was remarkably consistent across probability surveys. When employees were asked the same question in surveys using convenience samples (in lay terms, a convenience sample is not randomly representative because it uses respondents that are convenient to the researcher (e.g., student volunteers or respondents from one organization)), with sexual harassment not being defined, the rate rose to 50% of women reporting they had been sexually harassed.[15]

We then found that when employees were asked, in surveys using probability samples, whether they have experienced one or more specific sexually-based behaviors, such as unwanted sexual attention or sexual coercion, the rate of reported harassment rose to approximately 60% of women.[16] When respondents were asked in surveys using convenience samples about such behaviors, the incidence rate rose to 75%.[17] Based on this consistent result, researchers have concluded that many individuals do not label certain forms of unwelcome sexually based behaviors - even if they view them as problematic or offensive - as "sexual harassment."[18]

The most widely used survey of harassment of women at work, the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ), not only asks respondents whether they have experienced unwanted sexual attention or sexual coercion, but also asks whether they have experienced sexist or crude/offensive behavior.[19] Termed "gender harassment" in the SEQ, these are hostile behaviors that are devoid of sexual interest. Gender harassment can include sexually crude terminology or displays (for example, calling a female colleague a ''c*nt'' or posting pornography) and sexist comments (such as telling anti-female jokes or making comments that women do not belong in management.) These behaviors differ from unwantedsexual attention in thatthey aim to insult and reject women,rather than pull them into a sexual relationship. As one researcher described it, the difference between these behaviors is analogous to the difference between a ''come on'' and a ''put down.''[20] 041b061a72

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