Female Supervisors Face Significant Sexual Harassment

Post to Twitter

From Paul Secunda at Workplace Prof Blog:

“Probably not a big surprise to many readers out there that female supervisors are still harassed in large numbers, but the fact that this study show that they are harassed more than non-supervisor female employees is just a little surprising to me (via MSNBC):

Female managers are 137 percent more likely to experience sexual harassment than their rank-and-file counterparts, according to a recently released study.

Even Heather McLaughlin, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota and the primary investigator on the study, was surprised by the findings.

“It’s sort of a paradox,”she says.”You would expect that having that status and power over other employees would protect you from that behavior.”

Turns out it doesn’t, and McLaughlin’s conclusion is that”because of gender norms, people are still not accepting women in power positions.”

The report,”A Longitudinal Analysis of Gender, Power and Sexual Harassment in Young Adulthood,”looked at data that tracked nearly 600 individuals from adolescents into their 30s. …

From Nan Hunter at Hunter of Justice:

“Data presented at this year’s meeting of the American Sociological Association demonstrate that women in management positions are significantly more likely to be harassed than women who do not supervise others. The study also found that effeminate men were susceptible to harassment, an observation borne out by the large number of same-sex harassment cases, almost all filed by male employees who are perceived for a variety of reasons to be weak.

Women who hold supervisory positions are more likely to be sexually harassed at work, according to the first-ever, large-scale longitudinal study to examine workplace power, gender and sexual harassment.

The study, “A Longitudinal Analysis of Gender, Power and Sexual Harassment in Young Adulthood,” reveals that nearly fifty percent of women supervisors, but only one-third of women who do not supervise others, reported sexual harassment in the workplace. In more conservative models with stringent statistical controls, women supervisors were 137 percent more likely to be sexually harassed than women who did not hold managerial roles.

While supervisory status increased the likelihood of harassment among women, it did not significantly impact the likelihood for men.

“This study provides the strongest evidence to date supporting the theory that sexual harassment is less about sexual desire than about control and domination,”said Heather McLaughlin, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota and the study’s primary investigator. “Male co-workers, clients and supervisors seem to be using harassment as an equalizer against women in power.”   …

–Ann Bartow

Share
This entry was posted in Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace. Bookmark the permalink.