Despite the growing efforts of many companies to tighten their sexual harassment policies, many female employees in New Jersey continue to encounter inappropriate behavior at work. According to NJ Advance Media, a survey was recently conducted to find out whether #MeToo had made any impact in workplaces around the state. The results revealed that most of the survey participants, made up of both men and women, had not noticed any significant changes in their own workplaces.
Although at least 70 percent of the participants indicated that they were not afraid to report inappropriate behavior, at least 80 percent mentioned that they did not think their employers were likely to follow up with their complaints.
The survey results may suggest that the sexual harassment is not so much about how many perpetrators there are in an office, but rather, that common workplace culture may be normalizing the problem more than it denounces it.
What employers can take away from the survey responses
Despite the negative results of the survey, it may have still been worth giving employees the outlet to voice their opinions. One participant noted that while nothing much may have changed in many workplaces, “it will be important to continue to track employee perceptions to see if companies’ focus on sexual harassment can bring further improvement.” Applying strict policies may be one way to deal with workplace harassment, but it could also be equally important to measure their effectiveness by checking in with employees.
While the #MeToo movement may have empowered more women around the world to speak up for themselves, many employees may need more reason to believe that their own employers stand with them too. Knowing that employers genuinely care about the safety of their employees may encourage more women to see the value of filing a report at work.