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Sexual Harassment at Workplace - Pilot Survey Report

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Azaadi conducted a pilot survey to ascertain the extent and impact of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Azaadi is a feminist organization that works on prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, along with other gender based issues.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Sexual Harassment at Workplace - Pilot Survey Report

  1. 1. www.azaadi.org.in/ Freedom without fear Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – Survey Report
  2. 2. About Azaadi (Freedom), is a feminist organization that works on prevention of sexual harassment at workplace, along with challenging the gender status quo in Indian institutions, media, pop culture and political spaces. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a growing problem in a patriarchal society like India. With women’s participation in the workforce increasing each year, India Inc. has a huge responsibility to to ensure their workplaces are safe from harassment and gendered expressions of power. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal under Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013. This law also mandates every organization above 10 employees to have a complaints committee and conduct sensitization programs for its employees. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a human rights violation that affects the social, economic and political participation of women in the workforce. 2
  3. 3. Demographic Profile of Respondents 3
  4. 4. Demographic Profile Out of the total responses, 3% respondents chose to identify themselves as ‘queer’ or ‘gender fluid’ 4
  5. 5. Demographic Profile 51% respondents were in the age category of 22 years – 27 years, which is ideally the age group for their first job or being early in their careers 5
  6. 6. Demographic Profile The responses were received during the period of Nov – Dec 2016 6
  7. 7. Prevalence of Sexual Harassment at Workplace 7
  8. 8. Prevalence of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace is a widely prevalent issue, affecting many employees. Findings: 38% respondents have themselves experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. 5% respondents were not sure if their experiences counts as sexual sexual harassment in the workplace. 8
  9. 9. Prevalence of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace is a widely widely prevalent issue, affecting many employees. Findings: From the total responses, 58% respondents knew victims of sexual harassment at workplace that are working in other organization. 32% respondents knew victims within their own organization. 9
  10. 10. Personal Experiences of Being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 10
  11. 11. Personal Experiences of being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Most victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are young employees, usually in their first jobs or very early in their careers. Findings: 52% respondents were sexually harassed in the workplace when they were between 22 years to 27 years old. 26% respondents were under the age of 21 years. 11
  12. 12. Personal Experiences of being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment in the workplace is more commonly occurring than we think. Findings: 12% respondents experienced harassment within the last month of undertaking the survey, and 14% within the last six months. 33% respondents had experienced harassment in the last 6 years to 12 years. 12
  13. 13. Personal Experiences of being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment in the workplace is more commonly occurring than we think. Findings: 40% respondents have been harassed ‘quite a few times’. 21% respondents chose to mark ‘I’ve lost count’, and 6% have expressed continuing harassment, as of Nov – Dec 2016. 13
  14. 14. Personal Experiences of being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment in the workplace is more commonly perpetrated against women by men. Findings: 92% respondents shared that they were sexually harassed in the workplace by a male. Additionally, total of 8% respondents have marked their perpetrators as ‘female’, challenging the notion that women cannot sexually harass others. 14
  15. 15. Personal Experiences of being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Power dynamics are an integral integral component of sexual harassment in the workplace. Findings: A total of 88% respondents were harassed by colleagues senior in designation to them. 41% respondents were sexually harassed by a ‘co- worker’. 15
  16. 16. Personal Experiences of being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment in the workplace creates a hostile working environment Findings: 73% respondents were harassed within office premises, a direct link to an unsafe and hostile working environment. 25% respondents were harassed through ‘electronic means’ of communication. 16
  17. 17. Situation and Experiences During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 17
  18. 18. Situation During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Victims do not wish to file complaints. Findings: Only 20% respondents reported their incidents of harassment. 19% respondents shared that they tried to avoid or ignore the situation. 29% respondents spoke about their experiences to people other than a responsible authority, indicating a prevalence of ‘support groups’ that can potentially help the victims on an emotional level. 18
  19. 19. Situation During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment in the workplace affects productivity Findings: 40% respondents experienced mental stress. 40% respondent had difficulty finishing tasks at work post being harassed in the workplace. This indicates a need to create and increase emotional and mental support towards victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. 19
  20. 20. “…comments grew so bad, I had to resign in a month. No professional cooperation at all. My projects were shelved on purpose.” Situation During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 20
  21. 21. “Stopped respecting the organisation and leaders.” Situation During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 21
  22. 22. Situation During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are concerned about backlash within the workspace. Findings: 19% respondents shared that they were treated badly in their workplace workplace post harassment. 33% respondents did not notice any difference. 5% respondents shared that they were fired post being harassed. 22
  23. 23. “…for some time the male employees were very watchful around me. I suppose it put a strain on our friendships.” Situation During and Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 23
  24. 24. Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 24
  25. 25. Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment complaints do not produce any concrete results. Findings: 15% respondents were ‘not taken seriously’ when they filed a complaint, indicating a need to build capacity of committee members. 20% respondents revealed that there was no action taken for their complaint, indicating a need for employers to establish trust in the functioning of the committees 25
  26. 26. “I was blamed and asked to be careful.” Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 26
  27. 27. “I was ordered to resign and the pretext stated was my 'non- performance' and 'bad behaviour' of calling all men sexist, despite excellent performance reviews…” Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 27
  28. 28. Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Sexual harassment complaints do not produce any concrete results. Findings: 40% respondents were not satisfied with the action and / or decision taken by the committee. 15% respondents shared that they were not sure if the action taken was enough. 28
  29. 29. “I was unhappy with the knee jerk reaction and felt bad for having complained because I thought a warning would have sufficed. Further they did not hold any inquiry into the incident which I thought was unfair to the person I had filed a complaint against.” Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 29
  30. 30. Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Victims are not aware of complaints and redressal procedures. Findings: 32% respondents did not know who can address their concerns. 19% respondents did not know what to do, indicating a need of higher awareness of employees 32% were worried of being blamed for their experiences. 30
  31. 31. Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace Hypothesis: Victims are not aware of complaints and redressal procedures. Findings: 29% respondents indicated that they were concerned about ‘not being taken seriously’ A total of 20% respondents were worried about the backlash they’d they’d receive in case they choose choose to complaint. 31
  32. 32. “…parents told me not to report it…” Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 32
  33. 33. “I thought I'd put off reporting unless things escalated and began to make my day to day functioning really difficult.” Action Taken Post being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace 33
  34. 34. Organizational Practices for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace 34
  35. 35. Organizational Practices for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Hypothesis: Organizations are not complaint with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Workplace Act, 2013, which mandate every organization above 10 employees to have a complaints committee for addressing sexual harassment at workplace. Findings: 16% respondents were not sure if their organization has constituted a committee. 11% respondents shared that their organizations does not have a complaints committee 35
  36. 36. Organizational Practices for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Hypothesis: Organizations are not complaint with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, which mandate every organization to conduct ‘sensitization and awareness’ programmes for employees. Findings: 12% respondents were not sure if their organization conducts gender sensitization activities. 47% respondents shared that their organizations does not conduct sensitization programs at all, indicating a high need of increasing organizational compliance towards the law of the land. 36
  37. 37. Organizational Practices for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Hypothesis: Organizations are not complaint with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, which mandate every organization to conduct ‘sensitization and awareness’ programmes for employees. Findings: Out of those organizations that does conduct sensitization programs, 61% of them have made the prevention policy available on the internal portal, which may not be effective as there is no mechanism to measure if employees have understood the seriousness of the issue. 37
  38. 38. Summary High Prevalence • 38% respondents have themselves experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. • 58% respondents knew victims of sexual harassment at workplace that are working in other organization. • 12% respondents experienced harassment within the last month of undertaking the survey, and 14% 14% within the last six months. • 52% respondents were sexually harassed in the workplace when they were between 22 years to 27 years old. Hostile Work Environment • 73% respondents were harassed within office premises, a direct link to an unsafe and hostile working working environment • 40% respondents have been harassed ‘quite a few times’. • 19% respondents shared that they were treated badly in their workplace post harassment. 38
  39. 39. Summary (contd) Gendered Expressions of Power • 92% respondents shared that they were sexually harassed in the workplace by a male. • A total of 88% respondents were harassed by colleagues senior in designation to them. Affects Productivity • 40% respondent had difficulty finishing tasks at work post being harassed in the workplace. This indicates a need to create and increase emotional and mental support towards victims of sexual harassment in the workplace Need for Providing Support • 29% respondents spoke about their experiences to people other than a responsible authority, indicating a prevalence of ‘support groups’ that can potentially help the victims on an emotional level. • A total of 20% respondents were worried about the backlash they’d receive in case they choose to complaint. complaint. 39
  40. 40. Summary (contd) Lack of Awareness • 32% respondents did not know who can address their concerns • 16% respondents were not sure if their organization has constituted a committee. Lack of Trust in Official Mechanism • 20% respondents revealed that there was no action taken for their complaint, indicating a need for employers to establish trust in the functioning of the committees • 40% respondents were not satisfied with the action and / or decision taken by the committee. Lack of Compliance • 47% respondents shared that their organizations does not conduct sensitization programs at all, indicating a high high need of increasing organizational compliance towards the law of the land. • Out of those organizations that does conduct sensitization programs, 61% of them have made the prevention policy available on the internal portal, which may not be effective as there is no mechanism to measure if employees have understood the seriousness of the issue. 40
  41. 41. Recommendations To address the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, Azaadi strongly recommends the following actions • Graduate students about to join workplaces should be adequately trained on this issue and must be aware of the provisions of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, including rights in the workplace. • Organizational approach towards sexual harassment in the workplace has to be proactive instead reactive. • All organizations must have a functional complaints committee with trained members who are to deal with complaints and incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace. 41
  42. 42. Recommendations (contd) To address the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, Azaadi strongly recommends the following actions • Employers need to fulfil their legal responsibility for raising awareness on the issue. Additionally they should ensure adequate assessment to measure effectiveness of their sensitization programs. • Organizations have to strongly assert, implement and practice a ‘zero tolerance’ approach towards harassment in the workplace. • There should be adequate provisions to support victims on a mental and emotional level, for them to with their experiences and deal with their situation better 42
  43. 43. www.azaadi.org.in/ Thank you Sonam Mittal Founder and MsChief, Azaadi sonam@azaadi.org.in +91 - 9686 199 116 www.facebook.com/azaadi.org 43

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