The #MeToo movement took off in America’s most southwestern state and quickly spread across the nation. Not even Michigan remained untouched from its reach. Yet, years later, many people continue to face sexual harassment at work. Researchers are not sure if more people are getting harassed or if more people are just coming forward.
Back in 2017, CNBC estimated that one-fifth of adults in the U.S. workforce faced sexual harassment on the job. Many people might think young people, especially young and attractive women, face higher levels of harassment. In contrast, it appeared that the longer someone remained in the workforce, the higher the odds climbed. Between 18 and 34 years old, 16% of people reported harassment. By 50 to 65 years old, this climbed to 25%.
Women were not the only ones harassed either. While 27% of women reported being harassed, 10% of men reported the same. The good news is that most people believe their companies take sexual harassment seriously. Only 5% of Americans reported that the companies they worked for did not seem committed to creating a safer workspace.
In 2019, CNN followed up to share that not even United Nations staff members were immune from sexual harassment. In fact, their numbers were much higher than the average reported for the general U.S. population by CNBC in 2017. CNN estimated that one in three of these workers experienced sexual harassment.
The world has a long way to go when it comes to tackling the underlying issues that result in sexual harassment, especially of women. An unhealthy feeling of entitlement to women, a toxic desire to overpower them and belief that they are unworthy competitors for job positions are just some of the behaviors, beliefs and attitudes society may need to first address on a larger scale.