No profession is free from harassment and discrimination. No amount of education or level of skill can protect workers from the threat of a hostile workplace. The problem is often at its worst in fields that are or once were considered the domain of men. Progress is slow and attitudes that should have died out decades ago persist. The field of medicine is one where sexual harassment is all too common, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.
The study analyzed survey results from doctors who received career development awards from the National Institutes of Health. The surveys demonstrated that 4 percent of men who had received these awards were the victims of sexual harassment. More than 30 percent of the women in that group had been sexually harassed. Of those women, roughly half reported that the harassment harmed their career advancement.
Roughly one-third of all licensed physicians in the United States are female. That number is growing rapidly, and nearly half of all current medical students are female. The improving demographics may eventually help eliminate sexual harassment in medicine, but that is little comfort to the women being subjected to abuse today.
Male and female employees alike have a right to work without being harassed. Whether the harassment comes in the form of unwanted touching and sexual jokes or quid pro quo demands for sex, your rights are being violated. It is important to report sexual harassment and stand up for your rights. This is as true for doctors, lawyers and other professionals as it is for any worker. If you are unsure how to proceed, contact an attorney familiar with employment law and workers' rights today.
Source: Time, "30% of Female Doctors Have Been Sexually Harassed," by Alexandra Sifferlin, 17 May 2016