When Patricia Arquette won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at this year's Academy Awards, she used her speech to draw attention to the issue of wage inequality for women in America, highlighting a disturbing trend of female employees who are, on average, paid less than their male counterparts for the same amount of work. Unfortunately, this salary gender gap is far from the only problem facing American women in the workplace. A new survey conducted by Cosmopolitan finds that as many as one-third of working women between the ages of 18 and 34 suffer sexual harassment while at work.
The poll, which gathered responses from over 2,200 18- to 34-year-old full-time and part-time female workers, found that not only are one out of every three women victims of workplace sexual harassment, but a large majority — 71 percent — do not even report their cases. It's bad enough that such a significant percentage of working women have to face sexual harassment from their peers or supervisors, but it's even more disconcerting that nearly three-quarters of these victims do not feel safe or confident enough to report it, fearing retaliation and even further discrimination.
"Sexual harassment hasn't gone away — it's just taken on new forms," writes Michelle Ruiz and Lauren Ahn for Cosmo.
As The Huffington Post notes, it's crucial to be able to recognize the telltale signs of sexual harassment, as it isn't always nearly as overt or openly hostile as it's sometimes portrayed in the media. The American Association of University Women's definition of sexual harassment in the workplace includes any "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature."
If you feel you've been the victim of sexual harassment at work, contact The Meyers Law Firm to schedule an appointment with our free consultation lawyers. We'll help you decide on what your next steps should be.