A survey of more than 2000 professional Australian women between the ages of 16 and 40 has revealed that ten percent are experiencing sexual harassment in their current workplace.
The research, conducted by the University of Sydney business school, assessed the happiness of women in the workplace by taking into account a variety of factors. It found that there were “significant gaps” between the career goals and daily realities of many working women.
Some women are more likely to experience sexual harassment than others. Of those surveyed, women who were currently studying, living with a disability, or were culturally or linguistically diverse reported higher rates of harassment.
“Employers need to commit and act to create workplaces where women are respect and valued for their expertise,” co-author Rae Cooper said in a media release.
Those surveyed also indicated that younger women were likely to feel “disrespected” by older colleagues because of their gender. This phenomenon occurred across the spectrum of management and lower-tier positions.
A respectful and sexual harassment-free workplace is obviously not the only standard by which the survey measured women’s happiness in the office. The research also found that women are seeking job security and flexibility that will allow them to balance work and family commitments.
“[Women’s] picture of the future workforce is quite different: they see themselves balancing family and work commitments, and having long, meaningful careers. For this to be a reality, we need mutually beneficial flexibility in all workplaces,” Cooper said.