A super depressing new study out of the UK has found that sexual harassment in the workplace is alive and bloody thriving.

The study, conducted by TUC and the Everyday Sexism project, spoke to over 1500 women and found that over half of them (52%) had been sexually harassed at work (which btw can include anything from jokes about your sex life to inappropriate hugging, suggestive remarks, displaying porn in the office or even requests / demands for sexual favours).

The rest of the stats are equally as damning:

  • Over a third (35%) of women had heard comments of a sexual nature being made about other women.
  • Just under a third (32%) had been subject to unwelcome jokes of a sexual nature.
  • Over a quarter (28%) had been subject to comments of a sexual nature about their body or clothes.
  • One in five women had experienced unwanted sexual advances.
  • One in ten women had experienced unwanted sexual touching or attempts to kiss them.

New, Damning Study Shows 1/2 Of All Women Face Sexual Harassment At Work


In most cases (90%) the perpetrator was male (shocking) and either a colleague (7%) or a direct manager (17%). So just to put that in perspective, almost 1 in 5 women in the survey had been sexually harassed by their manager. Cool.

As is all too familiar with these stories, the majority of incidences went unreported (79%). Reasons for this included women being afraid it would affect either their relationships at work (28%) or their career prospects (15%), or that they would either not be believed (24%), or worse, blamed (8%). 

And look, they weren’t wrong – of the minority who DID report, only 6% said it had a positive outcome.

SIX PERCENT. That’s 6% of 79% of 1500 people, which is basically nothing. 

New, Damning Study Shows 1/2 Of All Women Face Sexual Harassment At Work

One woman included in the study even said that when she complained about sexual harassment, she was told “boys will be boys”

Everyday Sexism have been retweeting stories of sexism and work all day in response to the report being published, some of which you can read below. 


One important thing – among the many important things – that the report makes note of is that sexual harassment, like other types of violence against women, is “inextricably” linked to power.

That doesn’t mean the perpetrator is automatically in a position of power (like a boss), although that can and sadly does occur. It also includes total fuckknuckles who are feeling powerless and therefore try to assert their own dominance by sexually harassing others.

Either way, if you are experiencing sexual harassment, particularly from someone in a position of power, it is absolutely not okay and nor is it your fault.

And this writer in particular would like to say to those people: you can get absolutely bloody fucked. And not in the way you want.

Source: TUC.
Photo: Mad Men.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, ReachOut has some great resources available.