No one should have to endure sexual harassment at work, but unfortunately, it remains a pervasive issue in many workplaces.
Being aware of the various forms of sexual harassment can help you identify it when it occurs and take appropriate action. Here are some of the ways sexual harassment can manifest in the workplace.
Inappropriate comments or jokes
Sexual harassment doesn’t always involve physical contact. In many cases, it takes the form of inappropriate comments, jokes or discussions about sexual topics. These can create a hostile work environment, making it difficult for you to perform your job effectively. It’s crucial to recognize that any comment or joke with a sexual undertone, even if it’s not directed at you specifically, can be sexual harassment.
Unwelcome advances or propositions
Another common form of sexual harassment is unwelcome advances or propositions from a coworker, supervisor or someone else in your workplace. This can include persistent requests for dates, suggestive comments about your appearance or even explicit propositions for sexual favors. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened by someone’s advances, it’s important to take action and report the behavior.
Sexually suggestive or explicit materials
Displaying sexually suggestive or explicit materials in the workplace, such as posters, images or videos, can contribute to a hostile work environment and can be sexual harassment. This also includes sharing explicit content through emails, text messages or social media platforms.
By understanding the various manifestations of sexual harassment, you can better protect yourself and your coworkers from this harmful behavior and take the necessary steps to address it.