Minor changes in Workplace Sexual Harassment occurred in Two Decades

A sexual harassment survey was conducted to measure gender bias and sexual harassment in the workplace. It’s also a good way to identify the progress of alleviating workplace sexual harassment and gender inequality. Over the course of the last two decades, the sexual harassment survey indicates that sexual harassment in academic medicine has decreased in the U.S. Surprisingly, the change was less than expected.

The survey was delivered to 1,719 individuals who received the K08 and K23 grants in 2006 through 2009 from the National Institutes of Health. Researchers received a little over 1000 responses. The results showed that 46% of respondents were women and 71% of respondents are white.

Academic Medicine Sexual Harassment: Past vs. Present

In 1995, there was a major gender imbalance in the academic medicine field. Fewer than 10% of the class in medical school was women according to an author of research in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Based on a survey administered in the past, over 50% of the women in academic medicine who responded to the survey claimed that they experience sexual harassment. Five percent of the respondents represent the men who claimed they experienced sexual harassment.

Presently, 30% of the respondents were women who experienced sexual harassment. Four percent of the respondents were men who experienced sexual harassment according to the research. Since 1995, the decline in academic medicine sexual harassment has yet to make a great impact due to the increase in women attending medical school.

Dr. Reshma Jagsi, Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan, said, “I really thought that harassment would be much less commonly experienced by women in our sample, who went to medical school when the proportion of women among medical students had exceeded 40 percent.”

Seventy percent of the women observed, “Gender bias in the workplace.” Sixty-six percent faced it. The women were hindered from professional growth and opportunities “based on gender.” Twenty-two percent of men were informed about gender bias in the workplace. Ten percent faced it.

The Sexual Harassment Impact on Women in Academic Medicine

The women who fall underneath the third of women in academic medicine who endured sexual harassment were subjected to “unwanted sexual comments, attention or advances.” Each intolerable action was caused by a “superior or colleague.” According to nearly half of the compromised women claim the sexual harassment experience has damaged the future of their careers.

Dr. Jagsi said, “These numbers are not strikingly different from those in surveys of women in other fields.” Although this may bring comfort to an individual who have experienced workplace harassment, through understanding that there are not dealing with the workplace issue alone. It confirms the bigger problem, gender inequality, is still maneuvering through various workplaces regardless of the presence of a code of conduct or sexual harassment policy.

Some people may believe that power comes with the position as a physician and female physicians are protected. However, power fails to prevent workplace problems such as sexual harassment, workplace discrimination or retaliation. Power in academic medicine varies, which leaves leave some individuals more vulnerable than others.

Dr. Sharon was not included in the study, but she explained that most industries follow a specific method to control workplace sexual harassment. She also informed Reuters Health that other countries are working towards handling the sexual harassment issue in academic medicine.

Solution for Sexual Harassment in Academic Medicine

In 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter was established to further the employment of “higher education and research” women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in the U.K. The National Health Service has developed a policy the refrain them from engaging in partnerships with “medical schools or faculties of medicine for biomedical research” unless they have achieved the Athena SWAN “Silver Award.”
Things are different in the U.S. The best advice to give individuals who experienced sexual harassment in academic medicine is to speak up. Tell somebody about it. The longer one waits, the worse things may get. There is a long way to go before society accomplishes the goal of gender equality.

If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the academic medicine field, contact our New York, New Jersey, Miami, and Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our sexual lawyers are well-rounded in their field to answer all your questions and provide you with excellent representation both in and out court.

Contact Our Sexual Harassment Attorneys For a Free Consultation

If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment or if your employment rights have been violated, then you should immediately contact a sexual harassment attorney. No one deserves a hostile work environment. You can reach us online or by calling us at 877-469-5297 for a free consultation.

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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