With the rise of the #MeToo movement, the pervasiveness of sexual harassment has been exposed in industries ranging from Hollywood to tech and even giant retailers like Lowes. What about the ad industry, one intertwined with nearly all others?
What is Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the work place is language, gestures, jokes,or advances, as well as any other verbal or physical contact or assault towards someone that takes place in the work setting. According to data from the Ad Association, over a quarter of people working in marketing and advertising say they are victims of sexual harassment.
How Prevalent is Sexual Harassment
According to research, within the ad industry 26% of people report being sexually harassed at some point throughout their career. An overwhelming 72% of those people report it happening more than once, and a quarter of those say it has happened to them six times or more. Of those, 17% say they have never reported it to anyone.
Who are the Victims
The report revealed that of those individuals fallen victim to sexual harassment, 34% were women and slightly less than 10% were men. Between the ages of 18 and 24, 5% of men and 20% of women report experiencing sexual harassment within their first few years of working, and nearly one-third of all people say they’ve seen it happen to others.
Who are the Perpetrators
Within the ad industry, a whopping 82% of victims report being sexually harassed by someone in a higher position or in senior management. Many reported management playing a huge role in encouraging and covering up sexual harassment in the work place in order to gain or retain business, less than 20% officially filed a complaint.
Why Isn’t it Being Reported
With a majority 96% of people agreeing that sexual harassment shouldn’t be tolerated in the workplace, it’s surprising that 83% of cases never get reported. One reason may be that 66% of people believe the perpetrators will get away with it, and that nearly half (41%) of the victims are ignored or silenced before they can make their case.
Some People Don’t Consider it a Problem
Nearly ten percent of people questioned believe that unless physical assault happens, they would rather just consider it banter or flirting. 3% of people believe it’s not that bad of a problem, and another 7% aren’t sure how they feel. Surprisingly, 25% of people believe sexual harassment is a trend or this year’s bandwagon issue.
What To Do If You Experience or Witness Sexual Harassment
The first thing you’ll want to do after you’re in a safe environment is contact a San Francisco sexual harassment attorney. Keep thorough documentation of any unwanted conduct, which will serve as evidence in your case. Once you find out who your employer has designated to receive complaints, you can file a report.
How to File a Report
Once you have your lawyerand evidence, you will file an official sexual harassment complaint within the company. At this stage, everything will go on permanent record and potentially be used against you, so you should have your lawyer present. You have a legal right to continue your job without threat of further harassment or retaliation.
Sexual harassment occurs more frequently and is under reported more often than once thought. With the fear of losing one’s job, the stigma attached to filing a complaint, and the possibility of being ignored, most cases go unreported. However, you can be more confident knowing the facts and having a good lawyer on your side.