Ridout Barron


Poll shows women face harassment in tech industry

It is no secret that not all Canadian workplaces are safe and welcoming to everyone. Here in Calgary and elsewhere in the country, people of all backgrounds face harassment and bullying in the workplace, not to mention discrimination based on their gender, orientation or race. However, as a recent poll points out, women (especially those who work in emergent tech) tend to suffer sexual harassment far more often than their male counterparts.

A survey conducted by Women in Tech questioned 950 investors, founders and workers in the tech industry. Of the 750 women included in this survey, an astounding 53 percent of women reported being harassed in their workplace. Some 60 percent of those said the harassment was an ongoing problem, most often perpetrated by other employees. It should be noted that almost half of those harassed reported it being perpetrated by their direct supervisors.

Sexual harassment seemed to be the most prevalent form of harassment suffered by these women. Half of those who said they were sexually harassed said it included unwanted touching, and some were even offered promotions in exchange for sex. These unpleasant statistics are only compounded when the survey touched on racism and other forms of sexism, which also influence women in the workplace.

Most Calgary residents would agree that harassment of any type is unacceptable in a Canadian workplace, but unfortunately, this is not a problem that will be solved overnight. While lawmakers and employers endeavour to make workplaces safer and more accepting of their employees, many people are still treated poorly. Those individuals may benefit from seeking out the support of an experienced employment attorney who can help to escalate a harassment claim beyond the scope of the workplace if need be.

Source: glamour.com, "Survey Finds Women in Tech Get Punished for Reporting Harassment", Suzannah Weiss, Aug. 17, 2017

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