Sexual harassment in the workplace can be a serious obstacle to a healthy business community. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in their workplace, but disheartening news from the American Association of Advertisement Agencies suggests that things are not always so easy for women in advertising.
Despite efforts to move forward, the numbers suggest that advertising is a hard industry for women. In a recent survey of 400 female advertising professionals of varying levels of seniority, more than half reported to having faced sexual harassment in the workplace at least once.
The report comes after several high profile debates about sexism in the industry, including the removal of prominent CEO, Gustavo Martinez, for disorderly conduct.
AMC’s famous series, Mad Men, shocked audiences with its frequent portrayal of sexism in advertisement during the 1960s, but reports like this show that even the modern workplace still has major struggles with sexual harassment.
The Law Can Help Fight Sexual Harassment in the WorkplaceMany are afraid to speak out against sexual harassment because they are afraid of retaliation from their employer, but the law views sexual harassment as a form of gender discrimination. Workers have the right to a safe and fair workplace.
Sexual harassment includes requests for sexual favors, but it goes beyond that. All of the following are considered sexual harassment:
- Unwanted sexual comments or gestures
- Crude remarks about a person’s gender
- Lack of job security due to sexual pressures or expectations
- Any sexual behavior that creates a hostile work environment
- Remember that both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment
Dan A. Atkerson is an Dallas employment attorney. He fights to empower victims of sexual harassment and other workplace injustices.