Half of female executives have faced workplace harassment


>>Thompson: THE PAST YEAR HAS SURFACED COUNTLESS TALES OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT, BUT THERE’S A CORRELATION BETWEEN THESE EVENTS AND GENDER INEQUALITIES THAT HAVE LONG EXISTED IN THE WORKING WORLD. THE FINDINGS ARE PART OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE SURVEY OF MORE THAN 64,000 WORKERS ACROSS NEARLY 300 COMPANIES. THE “WALL STREET JOURNAL” HAS BEEN PUBLISHING A SERIES OF REPORTS ABOUT WOMEN, MEN AND WORK. EDITOR LYNN COOK JOINED NEWSHOUR WEEKEND’S HARI SREENIVASAN TO DISCUSS.>>Sreenivasan: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT STRUCK OUT FROM THE SURVEY IS MORE THAN A THIRD OF WOMEN REPORTED THAT THEY HAD BEEN HARASSED AT SOME POINT IN THEIR CAREERS. AND NOW THIS IS A SURVEY THAT GOES OUT PROBABLY, MOSTLY TO WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS, SO THIS MIGHT BE UNDER-REPORTED. THAT’S A STAGGERING NUMBER.>>IT’S A STAGGERING NUMBER, AND YOU’RE RIGHT, BECAUSE THIS SURVEY WAS COMPANIES THAT PARTICIPATED CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE, AND IT TENDED TO BE MORE WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS THAN A LOT OF, SAY, HOTEL OR RETAIL OR RESTAURANT WORKERS THAT WE ALREADY KNOW EXPERIENCE HARASSMENT AT GREATER RATES. BUT EVEN AMONG THOSE MOSTLY WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS AT BIG COMPANIES THAT TEND TO TAKE GENDER DIVERSITY SERIOUSLY, 35% SAID THEY WERE HARASSED.>>Sreenivasan: THIS IS THE FOURTH YEAR THAT THIS SURVEY HAS BEEN COMING OUT. WHAT IS DIFFERENT NOW IN THE POST “ME, TOO” CLIMATE.>>WELL, THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR THEY’VE ACTUALLY SURVEYED SEXUAL HARASSMENT, THEY’VE ASKED THOSE QUESTIONS. AND SO, WHAT WAS SHOCKING IS THAT NOT ONLY ARE A THIRD OF WOMEN EXPERIENCING HARASSMENT, BUT IF YOU’RE A WOMAN IN A MALE-DOMINATED ROLE, LIKE A TECHNICAL ROLE, IT’S EVEN MORE. 45% OF THOSE WOMEN SAY THEY’VE BEEN HARASSED. AND SENIOR LEADERSHIP, LIKE WOMEN IN EXECUTIVE ROLES, 55%, SAID THEY HAVE BEEN HARASSED. THERE’S A COMPANY CALLED CONVERSANT THAT RUNS THESE HOT LINES WHERE PEOPLE CAN CALL IN THEIR COMPLAINTS, AND THE CALLS JUMPED BY 72% IN THIS LAST YEAR. THERE WAS A HUGE UPTICK.>>Sreenivasan: ONE OF THE SURVEY QUESTIONS YOU ASKED, “NEEDING TO PROVIDE MORE EVIDENCE OF MY COMPETENCE THAN OTHERS DO.” 44% OF WOMEN SAID YES. ONLY 13% OF MEN SAID YES.>>RIGHT.>>Sreenivasan: REGARDLESS OF HOW QUALIFIED THEY ARE, THEY HAVE TO DO MORE.>>THAT’S THE FEELING THAT– THAT’S AT LEAST WHEN THIS DATA IS SHOWING THAT, YOU KNOW, SEXUAL HARASSMENT ASIDE, THERE ARE OTHER KINDS OF DISCRIMINATION THAT WOMEN ARE CONSTANTLY STRUGGLING AGAINST. IT’S MAYBE MORE SUBTLE, AND A LOT OF IT MIGHT BE UNINTENDED. BUT WOMEN OFTEN GET MISTAKEN FOR MORE JUNIOR PEOPLE. THEY FEEL THEY HAVE TO SET, YOU KNOW, REALLY FIGHT TO BE HEARD IN MEETINGS. THEY’RE FREQUENTLY FEELING LIKE THEY HAVE TO–>>Sreenivasan: ESPECIALLY IF THEY’RE ONE OF THE FEWER WOMEN THAT ARE IN THESE MEETINGS WHERE THE DECISIONS ARE BEING MADE.>>RIGHT. THAT’S ANOTHER– THAT’S ANOTHER PIECE OF THE DATA THAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING THIS YEAR THIS, IDEA THAT IF YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE IN THE ROOM, THE ONLY ONE ON YOUR TEAM, THE ONLY ONE IN YOUR BUILDING IN SOME CASES — FOR BLACK WOMEN ESPECIALLY– YOU EXPERIENCE WORK IN A VERY NEGATIVE WAY. AND IT MIGHT NOT BE OUTRIGHT HARASSMENT BUT AGAIN THESE MORE SUBTLE FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION. SO WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE IN THE ROOM, THOSE WOMEN SAID THEY WERE LESS LIKELY TO EVEN STAY AT A JOB. THEY ACTUALLY THINK A LOT MORE ABOUT LEAVING. SO COMPANIES IN THE SURVEY, YOU KNOW, WERE KIND OF SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT BECAUSE ALL THE TALK ABOUT RECRUITING, GETTING MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR, MORE WOMEN IN THE DOORS ACTUALLY RETAINING THEM AND GETTING THEM TO STAY IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT EQUATION.>>Sreenivasan: AND THERE’S ALSO ALMOST A MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, PERCEPTION OF HOW THE STATE OF WORK IS PLAYING OUT. ONE OF THE THE THINGS SAID, “MY GENDER PLAYED A ROLE IN MISSING OUT ON A RAISE, PROMOTION OR A CHANCE TO GET AHEAD.” ONLY 8% OF MEN SUGGESTED THAT AND 24% OF WOMEN SAID YES TO THAT.>>THERE’S A HUGE DISPARITY. IT IS LIKE THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT WORKPLACES GOING ON IN THE SAME WORKPLACE WHERE MEN FREQUENTLY FEEL LIKE THINGS ARE FINE AND WOMEN FEEL THEY ARE NOT FINE.>>Sreenivasan: IT’S A FASCINATING SURVEY AND THERE ARE SEVERAL STORIES IN THE “WALL STREET JOURNAL” ABOUT THIS. LYNN COOK, THANKS FOR JOINING US.>>THANK YOU.