More than 1 in 2 women experience sexual harassment at work: ACTU

More than 1 in 2 women have experienced sexual harassment at work: ACTU

Michele O’Neil
The Australian Council of Trade Unions says that 61 per cent of women who have completed their survey have been sexually harassed at work, including through unwanted sexual attention and inappropriate physical contact, but less than half reported the incident.

So far a massive 7500 people have completed the ACTU survey since it launched midway through September. The figures shared above are interim results released by the ACTU today, with the survey still open for responses until the end of November.

The study has also so far found a significant proportion of men have experienced sexual harassment, at 35 per cent, although this is much lower than the 61 per cent figure for women.

Sixty four per cent of all respondents so far say they have witnessed sexual harassment at work, but two thirds of those did not make a formal complaint and 40 per cent did not tell anyone at all.

Common forms of harassment according to the ACTU include social media harassment, crude or offensive behaviour, unwanted sexual attention and inappropriate physical contact.

ACTU President Michele O’Neil (pictured above) says our current workplace laws are failing women who are experiencing harassment at work. “The fact that thousands have chosen to take part in this survey in only six weeks shows how important this issue is to working people in Australia,” she says.

“We need to change the rules. Sexual harassment is a workplace issue and people who experience it should be able to take it up through the workplace umpire.

“We need access to fair, effective and efficient complaints mechanisms that support people who’ve been harassed, not punish them.”

O’Neil was elected to take over as ACTU president in July this year, replacing Ged Kearney after eight years in the role.

ACTU says it will report on the final results once the survey officially closes. You can still take part here.


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