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NextGen Magazine


Study: Companies Doing Better on Sexual Harassment, But More Work Needs to be Done

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 13, 2017
Sexual Harassment

A recent study has found that the number of sexual harassment complaints reported to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has dropped by 28 percent over the last two decades, and while this is a marked improvement, there is still much to be done, according to Quartz. Further, the number of settlements favoring the plaintiff rose from 18.8 percent to 26.1 percent in the same amount of time. This could be because of more awareness of the problem as well as increased training: as of this year, 71 percent of companies offer training of some sort. 

However an article in CNN Money noted that many of these trainings are inadequate. In fact, a 2001 study found that such training might, perversely enough, make men less responsive to sexual harassment issues in the workplace, finding that "Male participants were less likely than other groups to perceive coercive sexual harassment, less willing to report sexual harassment, and more likely to blame the victim." CNN Money noted that many of these trainings are perceived not as genuine education but as a way of avoiding legal liability. Effective trainings, according to CNN, focus less on definitions and prohibitions and more on actions people can take in response. It also cannot be one-size-fits-all: trainings must be tailored to specific workplaces and be updated as new circumstances arise. Otherwise, people will not have much faith that the company can actually help them resolve an issue.