Two in five women and one in five men have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years, according to a nationwide survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
The survey, the results of which were released in the August report Everyone’s Business: 2018 Sexual Harassment Survey, was conducted by Roy Morgan Research and asked more than 10,000 Australians to document their experiences of sexual harassment in workplaces. The results showed instances of sexual harassment had not become scarce in the era of #MeToo, but had in fact almost doubled in number since the last survey was conducted in 2012.
“One in three workers in Australia said they had been sexually harassed at work over the last five years, compared with one in five from our 2012 survey and one in 10 in 2003,” said Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins when she presented the findings at the National Press Club in Canberra on 12 September.
“We found that 39 per cent of Australian women and 26 per cent of Australian men told us they have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years, both a significant increase on 2012,” Commissioner Jenkins said.
The report found men were perpetrators in most cases (79 per cent) and that most people (64 per cent) who experienced workplace sexual harassment were sexually harassed by one person. More than three quarters of all sexual harassment occurred at a work station, work area or in a break or lunch room, while fewer than one in five (18 per cent) cases occurred at a work social event, such as after-work drinks.