It has been more than a year since the #MeToo movement started. With all the attention this has garnered, some organizations want to gauge its effectiveness. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association and Taft Communications co-sponsored a recent poll that was administered through Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The University contacted 619 New Jersey workers via phone during the middle of May 2018. Twenty-eight percent of these participants, between ages 35 and 59, and 37 percent of working females said they had been sexually harassed at work during their careers. Sixty-three percent of men and women stated that sexual harassment still occurred at their workplaces, and that it had not changed since #MeToo.
In the same survey, however, 24 percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 34 (Millennials) and 36 percent of non-whites felt that the occurrences of workplace sexual harassment had actually decreased.
Although this initial finding may not all be positive, there is additional data that shows that some changes have taken place. Eighty-four percent reported that they would not be uncomfortable reporting an incident of sexual harassment at work; this included both being victimized themselves or witnessing it happen to another on the job.
Seventy percent of the respondents said that if there was a sexual harassment issue at work, the employer acted by imposing consequences against the offending person.
Signs of Change
The Taft Communications Vice President found the poll results to be encouraging. She pointed out that although there is an overall feeling that workplace sexual harassment has not really changed, younger professionals and non-whites have seen less occurrences. She went on to stress the importance of companies communicating a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of workplace harassment.
The New Jersey Business & Industry Association President and CEO added that the sexual harassment programs that companies in Jersey have in place are making an impact, and are giving employees the courage to speak out.
The Trickle-Down Theory
After #MeToo first started dominating the media, well-known offenders in high-profile industries like movies, television, and politics were publicly outed and scorned. After the issue got the attention it deserved, every-day working individuals realized that they, too, could join the movement.
Employers are slowly starting to incorporate and formalize anti-sexual harassment policies, and employees are starting to become more empowered. The legal system has also been changing to reflect the #MeToo movement’s effects on society.
#MeToo successfully increased awareness about sexual harassment, but the problem still persists. Based on the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll, there are still many New Jersey employees that believe more action is needed.
The changes are underway, but there is still much work to be done. Surveying and interviewing employees is a method that organizations will continue to use to measure how companies are handling this ongoing issue.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Workplace Sexual Harassment Victims
Workplace sexual harassment can be demeaning and traumatizing, but you are not alone. For compassionate, experienced legal guidance, contact a Middletown sexual harassment lawyer today by calling our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or by contacting us at 888-396-0736 or online. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.