Select Page

When a woman moves up the career ladder, she is more likely to be sexually harassed in her workplace.

A study by the Swedish Institue for Social Research found that women in supervisory roles in the United States were 100% more likely to answer yes than women who were not in supervisory positions when asked if they had suffered sexual harassment at work in the last 12 months. 

When the researchers asked women if they had they experienced any of the 26 specific forms of sexual harassment on a list, the gap closed to 50%, presumably because some women had not realized that things done or said to them were indeed sexual harassment. 

Why does this happen? The researchers suggest when you move up the ladder, you are exposed to more people. As just another worker, it is easier to blend in. As a manager, more people know who you are, those below you and those above you.

Perhaps there are other factors in play, too. Some men do not like having a woman in charge, so they may use sexual harassment as a way to claim back the perceived slight to their masculinity. Men higher up the managerial scale may sexually harass a woman who is rising up the ladder as they feel threatened by her and want to make sure she does not pass them.

Whether you are at the bottom of the career ladder or you own the company, you do not have to accept workplace sexual harassment. If it does happen to you, an attorney can explain the legal actions available.