The AHRC confirmed the trend that workplace sexual harassment continues to affect more women than men, with 39 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men experiencing an incident at some time during the last five years. Individuals subject to sexual harassment are most likely to be aged 18-29.
Although the percentage of men who reported that they had experienced sexual harassment has risen from 9 per cent in 2012 to 26 per cent in 2018, the survey revealed that the percentage of perpetrators being male remained at 79 per cent. Instances of sexual harassment involving a colleague of the same seniority improved, decreasing from one in two cases in 2012 to one in four in 2018.
Making sexually suggestive or offensive comments towards another colleague was the most recurrent kind of sexual harassment, with 25 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men reporting having experienced such behaviour in the past five years. The 2012 survey observed a similar prevalence of this type of conduct. Half of the incidents occurred at the victim’s workstation, while one-quarter took place in work social areas. A particularly concerning finding is that although incidents were often viewed by onlookers, in those cases only 69 per cent chose to intervene.