Finnish business organisation the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) commissioned a survey about sexual harassment in the workplace and found that employees who have been harassed are often afraid of not being taken seriously if they speak up.
EK’s CEO Jyri Häkämies said things need to change.
“It is alarming that sexual harassment is reported at such low levels. There should be an atmosphere at every workplace that employees want and dare to inform employers about harassment so that something can be done about it,” Häkämies said in a press release issued Tuesday.
The survey also found that harassment victims are also wary of reporting incidents due to fears of repercussions in the future.
The survey was commissioned by the Confederation of Finnish Industries and carried out by pollster Taloustutkimus. The survey queried some 2,128 people between the ages of 18-64 in January. The poll questions included whether respondents had faced sexual harassment, who the harasser was and whether the victim faced further harassment after the first incident.
Some 38 percent of female respondents said they had experienced sexual harassment in a work setting. Some nine percent of male respondents also reported having experienced sexual harassment at work, according to the survey.
Harassment appears to be more common among younger females, the survey found.
Twenty five percent of female respondents under the age of 25 said they had been harassed within the past two years, while six percent of females over the age of 60 said they had been sexually harassed on the job.
The survey found that sexual harassment is most often carried out by a client against a company employee. Some 60 percent of sexual harassment incidents involved customers. But workmates and supervisors were also behind some of the incidents according to the respondents.