According to a new survey, one in ten Australian women are sexually harassed at their current job. Women with a disability, or who are from culturally diverse background, who are gay or are studying are most likely to be harassed.
Only two-thirds of women surveyed felt that they were treated with respect by their boss. As many as 2,109 women were surveyed.
Fewer than a third of women, who were all under 40, believed both sexes were treated equally in the workplace. However, half of the men surveyed did feel that both sexes were treated equally.
One woman told how she had been described as a “tasty little bitch” after meeting a GP, while another in the legal industry was told to “prove to me you’re more than blond hair and blue eyes”
Other women spoke about how male colleagues commented on their bras, and being told by their harassers that they were just being friendly.
The study’s co-author Dr. Elizabeth Hill said that enough is enough. “Workplaces have to change. Australian women are better educated than ever and this is the workplace they are faced with.” She said that 60 per cent of jobs growth in Australia through to 2030 is linked to industries where women dominate, such as healthcare and education.
“So the future of work is actually about young women,” Hill said. “But what we’ve found is that there is this gap, that the majority of Australian workplaces aren’t yet ready to meet young women’s aspirations to court their future success at work.”
“Something that's really shocking in our findings is that more than half of all of the women we surveyed think that our workplaces are unequal, and think that men are treated better than they are at work," co-author Professor Rae Cooper said.