Over Half of Female Surgeons Are Sexually Harassed
Annals of Surgery presented an article at the 2019 Academic Surgical Congress. The study outlined the extensive bullying and sexual harassment female surgeons experience. Researchers compiled data, and the survey numbers are extremely shocking.
About Sexual Harassment
In 2017, close to 13,000 Americans filed sexual harassment complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There are different forms of sexual harassment. Sometimes, this creates a hostile work environment when there is severe and ongoing sexually offensive behavior. There are different liability rules, but federal, state, and municipal laws clearly prohibit harassment based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Female Surgeon Sexual Harassment
The research team used an electronic anonymous survey via a web-based platform. From April to July 2018, the team sent the survey to email/distribution lists from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), and through common social media platforms. Over 1,000 individuals completed the survey. Of these 744 (74%) categorized themselves as women. This means that 18% of the women surgeons contacted had responded compared to 1% of the male surgeons. Of the respondents, 51% worked at an academic institution, 13% at community medical centers, 15% in private practice, and 19% in other settings.
Shockingly, over half (58%) had experienced sexual harassment just in the previous year alone. Also, the harassment took various forms. Survey responses indicated that the most common type (in 53% of cases) was “verbal or physical conduct (e.g. body language).” Also, unwanted physical contact occurred in 23% of the cases. The scariest revelation of the survey is that 84% didn’t report the harassment. The reason many women do not is the perpetrators are usually in a position of power or authority. Also, the harasser may even have power over available institutional channels that are supposed to address complaints. As a result, the so-called available channels may exist but may not always take such complaints seriously. This is why it is important to have an experienced sexual harassment attorney on your side.
Therefore, if you have experienced sexual harassment in any form in the workplace, you should contact a qualified employment attorney as soon as possible. If the harassment has not stopped after making a formal complaint with your employer, consulting a harassment lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will be able to provide further guidance and help build a case to end the harassment.