Sexual harassment in male-dominated fields

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2021 | Employment Law |

Workers in Delaware need to know their rights when it comes to harassment on the job. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still very common in American workplaces. Anyone can be harassed in this way, regardless of their gender identity. However, the numbers still show that women are more likely to be sexually harassed at work. That’s true even in fields where there are many more men than women.

Understanding sexual harassment

It is illegal under federal law for one worker to harass another based on their sex. Sexual harassment takes many different forms. It includes unwanted sexual advances. Sexual harassment can happen between two men or two women. While most people think of it as a man harassing a woman, the reverse happens as well.

However, EEOC numbers for 2017 show that women make up 83% of the claimants for this kind of harassment. Other figures show that many cases of sexual harassment go unreported. So while 10,000 cases were officially brought to the EEOC in 2017, many more never make it to that stage. Overall, more women than men surveyed say they were sexually harassed on the job, regardless of whether they filed an official report.

Sometimes, male-dominated industries actually have more cases of sexual harassment against the few women working there. For example, sexual harassment is a bigger problem for women in transportation than in some more mixed industries. Many activists see this as evidence that patriarchy seeks to reinforce its dominance in places where it’s already entrenched.

Regardless of sex or gender identity, anyone should feel empowered to report sexual harassment. It can be a good idea to consult a lawyer before doing so. Often, human resources is less interested in protecting employees than in insulating employers from lawsuits. Having a dedicated advocate can help.