Many people do not understand how sexual harassment can affect victims. Research has shown that sexual harassment can lead to mood changes and social isolation. Furthermore, the results of a new survey revealed that sexual harassment can also have a devastating effect on victims’ careers.
According to a recent Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, over one-quarter of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Nearly one-half of the women who have been harassed admitted that the harassment led them to either leave their job or change their entire career. This finding has been confirmed by another researcher from Vanderbilt University. Joni Hersch found that women who have been sexually harassed are six-and-a-half times more likely to leave their jobs than women who have not been harassed.
Many of the women who admitted to making this change feared that reporting the harassment would negatively impact their careers. The women in this position often did not report the harassment even after leaving the company out of fear that they would not be able to get a recommendation from their employer in the future. This was especially true of women who worked in low-wage positions.
Researchers believe that many women who are in this position choose to leave their jobs in order to move to another company or field that is more gender-balanced. Sexual harassment is more common in male-dominated industries and organizations, which is why female sexual harassment victims feel safer moving to a female-dominated work environment.
Changing careers is not only inconvenient for these women, it can also affect their income. Women who are forced to move to change career paths will have to start from the bottom in their new field. They may need to learn new skills, make new connections, and prove themselves within an entirely new industry. As a result, it could take them longer to work their way back up to the salary they made prior to being harassed. This could be one possible explanation for the gender-pay gap.
Based on this research, it is clear that sexual harassment can severely impact many areas of a victim’s life, including her career. To protect your rights--and your career--it’s important to take legal action against your harasser.
Have you been sexually harassed at work? If so, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our experienced employment law attorneys fight to protect your financial future. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.