One in six employees sexually harassed at work; Women twice as often as men
In the past decade, 16 percent of employees in the Netherlands experienced sexual harassment at work. Women were twice as likely to be harassed as men, with 21 percent of women experiencing sexual harassment and 10 percent of men, the Netherlands' Institute for Human Rights found in a survey of nearly 2 thousand employees and about 300 employers.
Sexual harassment was more common among young employees. Among employees up to 35 years, about a fifth experienced sexual harassment at work, including both unwanted physical behavior and verbal harassment. Among workers over the age of 45, one in ten reported experiencing such behavior. In the age group 35 to 45, this was 16 percent.
Men were the most common perpetrators of sexual harassment, with 79 percent of victims reporting they were harassed by a man. Among employees who were harassed by multiple people, 70 percent said their harassers were exclusively men. 96 percent of female victims were harassed by men. The same is true for 51 percent of male victims.
37 percent of victims said they reported the sexual harassment to their employer or confidential adviser. Those who didn't report the incident said they doubted whether the incident was serious enough or would be considered sexual harassment. A third of victims who reported being harassed said the harassment continued after their report. Some also reported being bullied after filing a report. A majority, however, said that their report had the desired effect.
Employers also sometimes find it difficult to address sexual harassment, the researchers found. They often said that they were informed about incidents poorly or late and that they struggle to intervene in a way that "takes all interests into account".