Unwanted sexual attention at work is incredibly violating, degrading, and harmful to everyone in the workplace as well as society as a whole. If you have ever been subjected to this unlawful conduct, it may give you some strength to know that you are not alone. In fact, according to reporting from NPR, more than four out of five women report having been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
It may seem logical to think that sexual harassment comes from the desire to have sexual relations or an intimate relationship. While this may sometimes be the case, oftentimes the perpetrators commit their wrongdoings for different reasons such as:
Creating a power imbalance
Regrettably, sexual harassment is an effective way to create a power imbalance at work. If your manager or colleagues can make you feel uncomfortable, they also may be able to gain some control over you. This is especially true if the harasser thinks you can do nothing about his or her behaviors.
Keeping you from advancing
If someone believes you are a risk in the workplace, sexually harassing you may keep you from advancing in your career causing a host of negative psychological consequences such as anxiety or depression. If you begin to suffer from these, the sexual harasser may be able to capitalize on your slipping job performance.
Causing you to question yourself
Sexual harassment is dehumanizing. It also can make you feel incompetent. If you regularly butt heads with someone in your organization, he or she may sexually harass you in an effort to make you question yourself or your professional capabilities.
Regardless of the reason for it, sexual harassment has no place in the workplace or anywhere else. Ultimately, filing an official complaint or exercising other rights may help you stop sexual harassment before it destroys both your career and your emotional well-being.