Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani K.K.

Birla Goa Campus

A Report On

Sexual Harassment at the Workplace
Prepared by: Nikita Prakash 2007B2A8420G The partial fulfilment of BITS C 324 (Study Oriented Project) Course Dr. Shikha Sahai

Prepared for:

Supervised by:

20 April 2011

This project discovers and describes the various ways of Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination against women that are prevalent today in work places. It also highlights the reasons behind these ongoing practices, the type of people that carry them out, the kind of workplaces where they are more rampant and the people that are victimised by these. Another important aspect that it covers will be on how to deal with the problem and how it can be minimised at workplaces. This project was chosen after hearing stories of discrimination that happen on a regular basis in IT companies and consultancy firms in Hyderabad from women who work there. On reading more on the issue it was found that more and more women are victims of this everyday and that almost 80% of women have complained of having faced it in their workplace n a regular basis. The information has been gathered from research papers on the topic, essays and articles on the topic, forums where women have discussed these issues, firsthand accounts of women who have been victims via interviews and emails, and a survey conducted of different kinds of women at different kinds of work places. This has then been analysed and conclusions have been drawn based on the research and data collection. The report is the result of four months of research on Workplace Sexual Harassment. The report shows that sexual harassment is a significant challenge for employees. It is evident from all sources of study that sexual harassment in the workplace is high. Employees are being subjected to unsafe work environments that can affect their emotional and physical health. The research also proves employees were not aware of any sexual harassment policies in their workplace.


I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who helped me with their continuous guidance and constant encouragement at all the stages throughout my work. I would like to convey my deepest sense of gratitude to Dr. Shikha Sahai, my project supervisor and mentor for her valuable advice, guidance and constant encouragement in making this project. In the end, I would also like to extend my gratefulness to all the corporate professionals I have interacted with over time and during the course of this project for their helpful insights and inputs and for providing me with necessary resources. And a special thanks to all the 91 respondents who devoted their time & energy to fill out the questionnaire. Without their inputs, this project would not have been complete. Nikita Prakash


ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................................................... ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .......................................................................................................................................... iii CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................................................. iv 1. 2. INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................................. 1 UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT ...................................................................................................... 2 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4. 2.5. 2.6. DEFINITION ............................................................................................................................................ 2 CAUSES .................................................................................................................................................. 3 TYPES OF HARASSERS ............................................................................................................................ 5 TYPICAL VICTIMS ................................................................................................................................... 6 CONSEQUENCES .................................................................................................................................... 7 CURRENT LEGAL SCENARIO RELATED TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE WORKPLACE IN INDIA ......... 8

The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010 ..................................................................................... 8 Some Salient Features of the bill: ........................................................................................................................................................... 9 Criticism of the bill: ............................................................................................................................................................................... 10


STUDY OF EXISTING LITERATURE ................................................................................................................. 12 3.1. SUMMARIES OF SOME OF THE REVIEWED PAPERS AND CASE STUDIES............................................. 12


CONCLUSIONS FROM STUDY OF EXISTING LITERATURE .............................................................................. 29 4.1. Relating Sexual Harassment with Bullying, Power Abuse and Organisational Violation. The Various Forms of its Existence and Its Incidence: ......................................................................................................... 29 4.2. Characteristic Features of Sexual Harassment Occurrence: ............................................................... 30

4.3. Experiences of Sexual Harassment: Perceptions, Effects and Coping Strategies at Personal and Organisational level:......................................................................................................................................... 30 4.4. 5. Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Harassment ........................................................................... 31

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: SURVEY ........................................................................................................... 33 5.1. 5.2. QUESTIONNAIRE ................................................................................................................................. 33 DATA COLLECTION: RESPONSES TO QUESTIONNAIRE ........................................................................ 38

Profile of the respondents: ................................................................................................................................................................... 38 Awareness towards Sexual Harassment: .............................................................................................................................................. 39 Sexually Harassed Respondents ........................................................................................................................................................... 40 Seeking Redress .................................................................................................................................................................................... 42

6. 7. 8. 9.

DATA ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................................................ 44 MEASURES TO BE TAKEN ............................................................................................................................. 47 END NOTES AND FUTURE RESEARCH ........................................................................................................... 51 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................................. 52


Of all the forms that violence against women can assume, sexual harassment is the most ubiquitous and insidious; all the more so because it is deemed 'normal' behaviour and not an assault on the female entity. It affects women in all settings whether public or private and has psychological, medical, social, political, legal and economic implications. Instances of sexual harassment should not be viewed as isolated incidents; rather they should be construed as a gendered aggression against the rights and dignity of women. The fact the extremely harmful effects of Sexual Harassment are visible globally discounts any effort to view it with less gravity than it deserves. In India, it has been only six years since sexual harassment was for the first time recognised by The Supreme Court as human rights violation and gender based systemic discrimination that affects women’s Right to Life and Livelihood. The Court defined sexual harassment very clearly as well as provided guidelines for employers to redress and prevent sexual harassment at workplace. While the Apex Court has given mandatory guidelines, known as Vishaka Guidelines, for resolution and prevention of sexual harassment enjoining employers by holding them responsible for providing safe work environment for women, the issue still remains under carpets for most women and employers. Vishaka guidelines apply to both organized and unorganized work sectors and to all women whether working part time, on contract or in voluntary/honorary capacity. The guidelines are a broad framework which put a lot of emphasis on prevention and within which all appropriate preventive measures can be adapted. One very important preventive measure is to adopt a sexual harassment policy, which expressly prohibits sexual harassment at work place and provides effective grievance procedure, which has provisions clearly laid down for prevention and for training the personnel at all levels of employment. As India’s economy continues to grow, helping millions of people live better and healthier lives, one could be forgiven for thinking that the old problems that affected our parents and grandparents generations are being left behind. You would expect to find this to be especially true in the modern and dynamic workplaces of call centers and IT parks that are employing millions and helping drive Indian economic growth. Unfortunately, while we have new industries and economic progress, old problems have yet to be left behind. Sexual harassment has been found to be rife within India’s modern work places. A study released last year, of 600 female employees working in IT and BPO industries and the first of its kind, found that 88% of women were subject to sexual harassment in their workplace, with supervisors often - in over 70% of cases – being to blame. In an international survey of over 12,000 people in 24 countries, India was found to have the highest rate of reports of workers being sexually harassed by colleagues or supervisors. 25% also reported being assaulted at their place of work.


. brushing. Engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. 'Quid pro quo'. which could be verbal. According to The Supreme Court definition.    The words ‘Unwelcome’ and ‘Unwanted’ are important and help distinguish sexual harassment from other acts of similar nature in the work place. kissing sounds. like sexually explicit compliments/cracking inappropriate jokes with sexual connotations/ making sexist remarks etc. etc. or during working hours. sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexually determined behaviour. Similarly. means seeking sexual favours or advances in exchange for work benefits and it occurs when consent to sexually explicit behaviour or speech is made a condition for employment or refusal to 2 . sexual harassment that occurs on a person’s way to and from work.2. like staring to make the other person uncomfortable. Makes an unwelcome demand or request (whether directly or by implication) for sexual favours from another person. This includes all such actions and practices of a sexual nature by a person or a group of people directed at one or more workers. but can also include clients and customers. even though those SMSes may not be sent at the physical workplace. making offensive gestures. such as:     Physical contact A demand or request for sexual favours Sexually coloured remarks Showing pornography Any other physical. offence or distress. etc. in the form of pictures/cartoons/pinups/calendars/screen savers on computers/any offensive written material/pornographic e-mails. Makes an unwelcome remark with sexual connotations. touching. UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT 2. and further makes it a condition for employment/payment of wages/increment/promotion etc.1. an incident where an employee receives harassing SMSes from another colleague or client is considered workplace harassment. Harassers need not only be employers or colleagues. or during a client interaction or work-related dinner or function is also considered workplace sexual harassment. like grabbing. E. Sexual Harassment takes place if a person:   Subjects another person to an unwelcome act of physical intimacy. Shows a person any sexually explicit visual material. or even non-verbal.g. DEFINITION Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unwelcome or unwanted attention of a sexual nature from someone at a work place that causes discomfort. pinching etc. Quid pro quo and hostile work environment are the two broad types of sexual harassment. humiliation. verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature. and / or interferes with the job.

some of the main causes for sexual harassment have been covered in the points that follow.2. make recommendations for salary adjustments and promotions and even decide whether or not an employee retains his/ her job. top managers occupying high -status roles believe that sexually harassed female subordinates are merely an extension of their right to make demands on lower status individuals. 'Hostile working environment' is more pervasive form of sexual harassment involving work conditions or behaviour that make the work environment 'hostile' for the woman to be in. The coworkers also exercise some sort of power in order to sexually abuse female co-worker in the organization. also valuate their performance. supervisors control resources that most subordinates consider important and scarce. Certain sexist remarks. The co-workers having no position and power can also influence the sexually harassed peers. and to the roles. sexual harassment is the victim’s word against her boss. Work in organization is a team and hence performance of jobs requires interaction and support from co-workers. it is believed that most offences go unreported to company officials or government agencies So. subordinates want favourable performance reviews.comply with a 'request' is met with retaliatory action such as dismissal. Women in positions of power can be subjected to sexual harassment from males who occupy less powerful positions within the organization. In light of the reality highlighted above. which are not made conditions for employment. relative power and status of the men and women concerned. In some cases. CAUSES The main reason of sexual offence in corporations is the severe imbalance of power in between supervisors and subordinates. demotion. As a result. These allegations often become one person’s word against another. On the other hand.” The difficulty with allegations of sexual harassment is proof. the harassed are afraid of speaking out for fear of retaliation by the supervisors. On the contrary. Most of the women do not want to litigate them. Many of the causes are interrelated. linked to the culture and values in society and in companies. The positions and the power give the supervisor the capacity to reward and coerce subordinates. physical contact/brushing against female employees are some examples of hostile work environment. salary increases and the like. display of pornography or sexist/obscene graffiti. Socialisation The way in which men and women were brought up to see themselves and others strongly influences their behaviour. difficult work conditions. The reason of suppressing harassment is the fear of economic insecurity and social isolation. cooperation and support. This is usually achieved by the subordinates by devaluing the women through highlighting traditional gender stereotype that reflect negatively on the women in power. 2. This power is developed by providing or withholding information. The harassed suffers from difficulty and suppresses it in the cost of civil right. Because of the supervisor’s control over resources. Various viewpoints could create a climate that allows sexual harassment: 3 .

acceptable in our rapidlychanging society. Credibility and victim-blaming The credibility of the victim is often called into question. race. they find it difficult to handle harassers or to complain. or of lesser value than men. whether one-sided or mutual. Several factors aggravate this problem: The large majority of men who treat women with respect and would never consider taking such liberties. lifestyle. or isn't. Power games Recent social and political changes have changed power relations. their behaviour can also encourage harassment of other women. Such men often even think that women take their harassment as a compliment. Some men feel threatened by the career advancement of women and people of colour. Some confusion results from cultural differences about what is. and doesn't accept rejection or sees the unwilling colleague as a challenge. retrenchments. fear. Others who have recently gained positions of power may also harass women subordinates to prove themselves. E. personal stress and performance pressure. Although research has proven them to be a small minority. we will observe a case of an American woman who worked in the German division of a company (Lehman. or was until recently. it is relatively easy for people to indulge in very personal workplace interactions. 2006). easily becomes a harasser. "OK" to discriminate against people because they are different (in terms of gender. religion.g. the abuse of power or humiliation that is typical of sexual harassment will not be unusual. In times of uncertainty. or may victimise the reluctant colleague. as it is usually her word against that of the harasser’s. If women see themselves as dependent on. Harassment is often closely linked to prejudice in general. The prevalence of marital stress and divorce in our society means that some men and women come to work in a state of emotional distress that could make them vulnerable to sexual harassment. or are uncomfortable with women's newfound independence and assertiveness at home and / or at work. Often women who are breadwinners are vulnerable and fear victimisation or even job loss. if they reject advances or complain. political conviction or whatever). limited promotion opportunities. culture. 4 . Many women have been brought up to believe women's highest calling is to please men. that popularity with men equals success. divorce and cultural differences In times of moral laxity. and to sexist attitudes. This can give the impression – usually unintended – and in turn they invite sexual advances at work. Moral values. or are unassertive. and treat their female colleagues accordingly. Men who were brought up with macho beliefs like which supported harassing women easily carry these social values into the workplace. The person who tries. usually find it difficult to believe that respected colleagues would abuse their position in this way. in the literature reviewed later in the report.In a culture where it is. Some women who see sexuality as their only power base. play along. there is a real danger that sexual harassment and trading of sexual favours will form part of the power games played.

lifestyle and private life of the victim seem to become more important than the behaviour being investigated. The harasser may be a high-level or highly-skilled person who is difficult to replace. most women experience this as humiliating and disturbing. and not their fault. the dress. she should not be victimised in any way. And if she declines. The victim may be very embarrassed by the events. If management condones such behaviour or if victims end up being blamed. Lack of company policy Many companies don’t have clear policies and complaint and disciplinary procedures to deal with harassment – or if they have them. or no action is taken by management. The Great Gallant 5 . or if they do complain. they often don't realise that it is a fairly common occurrence. 2. Many women are also inclined to excessive guilt and self-blaming. All these can create a hostile environment. and may even believe that they unwittingly did or said something to invite the unwanted behaviour. Women often resign rather than complain. The common tendency of victim-blaming often causes the harassed to end up virtually as the accused. while the victim is likely to be on a lower level. we can probably divide harassers into six broad groups: Mr. She may then be blamed of having played along or condoned the behaviour initially. and even if it goes no further than verbal and visual harassment. they do not implement them. while few of their companies had relevant policies. or afraid of ridicule or revenge. where. when. As in the case of sexual assault and rape. since they do not know where to go. when groups of men embarrass women with comments. lewd jokes or gestures. and display of sexually distasteful posters. and from whom she wishes to accept any sexual approach or comment. Naturally it is advisable that women dress and behave appropriately at work.3. And if they are ashamed or afraid and don't discuss the problem. more than 80% of the women respondents said they had been harassed at work.Management may take the word of a senior person rather than that of a subordinate as they are likely to have known the senior longer and that he would be their key employee and a manager usually has more credibility in a dispute than a subordinate. In one of the reviewed researches. and is likely to wait until matters become unbearable before she complains. and thus more expendable. it is either treated as a joke. Macho This is usually linked to the bravado. affecting more and more women. the harasser is encouraged to continue the pattern of harassment. TYPES OF HARASSERS While behaviour and motives vary between individuals. Yet any woman – whatever her appearance and lifestyle – has the right to decide whether. unwanted compliments or even physical evaluation.

this form of harassment is an abuse of power and trust. This person's aberrant behaviour is often a call for help. managers and personnel professionals should be aware of this possibility. Incidents are often linked to specific life situations or emotional or medical problems. Besides the effect on the victims. the harassment usually stops – but by then both victim and harasser have been harmed. comments focused on the appearance and the sex of a worker – rather than her competence or her contribution – are usually unwelcome. and strikes in private where it is his word against that of a subordinate. and can cost the company dearly in terms of effectiveness. In this case counselling is probably more important than mere disciplinary action. a drivers' licence. suppliers or clients. or both. While the giver of compliments may see himself in a different light. This can be described as "quid pro quo" harassment. sexily or soberly dressed. he will insist that the women like and enjoy his attentions. The Serial Harasser The most difficult type of harasser to identify. at the office party. rather than deliberate harassment – as is usually the case in the above four types. The Situational Harasser The trigger to this person's behaviour is usually psychological. on a business trip. is the one labelled as the serial harasser. He can do a lot of damage before he is found out. and is closely allied to blackmail. If confronted. He carefully builds up an image so that people will find it hard to believe ill of him. The Opportunist This kind of harasser is usually fairly promiscuous in his attentions to female staff. hormonal imbalance. prostate disease. Whenever the opportunity presents itself – in the elevator. 6 . plans his approaches carefully. promotion. when working late. and so on. impotence. The Power-player Here harassment is a power game. This person is compulsive and often has serious psychological problems. and the most difficult to deal with. the cost of special favours.This mostly verbal harassment occurs when the “gallant” pays excessive compliments and makes personal comments that are out of place or embarrass the recipient. Women of high rank or status in the organisation are also harassed out of jealousy and intimidation and sometimes out of the desire to attain the attention of a powerful woman.the harasser likes to take advantage of the situation. when alone in an office or a car with a female colleague. such as divorce. 2. While most men and women appreciate recognition and genuine compliments.4. orders. the recipient usually experiences him as patronising or annoying. Although serial harassers are in the minority. bank overdrafts. TYPICAL VICTIMS Women of all ages are harassed – physically attractive or plain. and company image. If the situation changes or the disease is brought under control. where the man insists on sexual favours in exchange for benefits he can dispense because of his position: getting or keeping a job. wife’s illness. but more situational than compulsive. It can lead to bad business decisions. or psychiatric or systemic disturbances that suppress the higher brain functions.

costs of perks or unearned increases for favourites. 2. harassment of an employee or prospective employee by an employer or by another employee of the same employer is now expressly prohibited. Whereas sexual harassment was in the past usually dealt under human rights act. or the fear of being harassed again can either cause illness.5. The knowledge that harassment is permitted can undermine ethical standards and discipline in the organisation in general. as staff lose respect for. such behaviour may lead to both criminal action and civil claims. These include costs of appointing people because of their looks or compliance with "quid pro quo" demands. and trust in. or fear possible favouritism. Where there are inadequate channels of complaint.Women who are particularly vulnerable include:     Women who are the primary income providers of the household Divorced women or widows are often psychologically vulnerable because of personal loss Women who are timid or insecure about their abilities. (rather than skills and competence). Because of being declared unlawful. experience and research internationally have proven that sexual harassment can involve heavy costs. Action may be brought against an employer who knows or ought to know about harassment and fails to take appropriate preventive action. Companies may lose valuable staff. as the stress caused by such an unresolved problem. such behaviour. Women who are eager to be accepted and liked. Many women resign rather than go through the unpleasantness of a confrontation. and lack self-confidence and careerrelated education. If a worker is constantly concerned that the harasser may strike again. the company's image among its customers and the general public may also suffer. Costs to companies Harassment costs companies money by reducing productivity. their seniors who indulge in. If word gets around that a company allows sexual harassment to go unchecked. High absenteeism among women could also be a result (or even a symptom) of harassment. The costs of bad decisions due to harassment are difficult to quantify. it may also have problems if it needs to take disciplinary steps against a harasser. Their friendliness and helpfulness is often misread as an invitation. or turn a blind eye to. and may find it difficult to be assertive. an employer may be held liable even if there was no knowledge of the harassment. Legal costs Companies can incur legal costs if the problem is ignored. Lack of clear definition of unacceptable behaviour would make 7 . If a company has no clear policy on sexual harassment. At the same time. who have limited potential for advancement and are easy to replace. with the new guidelines and impending bill on the same. CONSEQUENCES Case histories. she is unlikely to be able to work effectively. colleagues who are not involved may be de-motivated if they are aware of unacceptable goings-on. morale and motivation. both to companies and to individuals concerned.

their interpersonal relationships. The measure will help in achieving gender empowerment and equality. In the case of women who were sexually abused as children or as adults.6. Few people who have not experienced it personally understand the distress and even terror sexual harassment can cause. overlooked for promotion. the serial and the situational harassers. The sense of security at the workplace will improve women’s participation in work. if enacted. CURRENT LEGAL SCENARIO RELATED TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE WORKPLACE IN INDIA The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. The proposed Bill. This is followed by losses in terms of financial settlements with the victim prior or post trial. that undermines their selfconfidence and thus also their personal effectiveness. 8 . both in public and private sectors whether organised or unorganized. This can negatively influence their effectiveness at work. This will contribute to realisation of their right to gender equality. and their personal development. although the harassers and even observers can also be harmed if harassment is allowed to go uncontrolled. resulting in their economic empowerment and inclusive growth. Women who resign because of sexual harassment problems. may be victimised. be it in public or easier for a harasser to take the company to court to appeal against disciplinary steps or dismissal. It may also undermine their trust in men and in people in authority. Thus this can hold back their career development and personal growth. life and liberty and equality in working conditions everywhere. Particularly in the case of the last two of the types of harassers mentioned above. or may either look for job opportunities elsewhere or will be tempted to indulge in the same type of behaviour. will ensure that women are protected against sexual harassment at all the work places. E. ignoring their behaviour could cause a deep-seated problem to go untreated. often have difficulty getting references from their previous employers. Men or women who observe harassment going unchecked may lose trust in their superiors. another negative experience can cause serious psychological damage. 2010 In November 2010. Most women experience it as an insult. and may thus have difficulty in finding another position. This also leads to bad publicity of the company with the media. Personal costs The victims usually suffer the highest personal costs.g. The harassers themselves could fall into bad habits if their behaviour is allowed to continue. Women. or giving reasons for having left their previous jobs. may feel threatened by the situation if they believe that others are favoured because they play along.. 2. 2010 in the Parliament to ensure a safe environment for women at work places. the Union Cabinet approved the introduction of the Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. who resist harassment or complain.

have access to a redressal mechanism. Since there is a possibility that during the pendency of the enquiry the woman may be subject to threat and aggression. research scholars in colleges/university and patients in hospitals have also been covered. controlled or wholly or substantially financed by it as well as of private sector establishments falling within their territory. depending upon the need. 2005) in our country have less than 10 workers for whom it may not be feasible to set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).Some Salient Features of the bill: The Bill proposes a definition of sexual harassment. which is as laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vishaka v. The Complaint Committees are required to complete the enquiry within 90 days and a period of 60 days has been given to the employer/District Officer for implementation of the recommendations of the Committee. Additionally it recognises the promise or threat to a woman’s employment prospects or creation of hostile work environment as ‘sexual harassment’ at workplace and expressly seeks to prohibit such acts. Implementation of the Bill will be the responsibility of the Central Government in case of its own undertakings/establishments and of the State Governments in respect of every workplace established. she has been given the option to seek interim relief in the form of transfer either of her own or the respondent or seek leave from work. apprentice. Students. However. The Bill provides for safeguards in case of false or malicious complaint of sexual harassment.000 rupees.2 million out of 41. The Bill provides protection not only to women who are employed but also to any woman who enters the workplace as a client. Since a large number of the establishments (41. the Bill provides for setting up of Local Complaints Committee (LCC) to be constituted by the designated District Officer at the district or sub-district levels. Employers who fail to comply with the provisions of the proposed Bill will be punishable with a fine which may extend to 50. The LCCs will enquire into the complaints of sexual harassment and recommend action to the employer or District Officer. which do not prepare Annual Reports. mere inability to substantiate the complaint or provide adequate proof would not make the harassed liable for punishment. State of Rajasthan (1997). owned. irrespective of its size or nature. would forward this information to the District Officer. every employer has the primary duty to implement the provisions of law within his/her establishment while the State and Central Governments have been made responsible for overseeing and ensuring overall implementation of the law. Through this implementation mechanism. Besides. Under the proposed Bill. This twin mechanism would ensure that women in any workplace. Organizations. the State and Central Governments will oversee implementation as the proposed Bill casts a duty on the Employers to include a Report on the number of cases filed and disposed of in their Annual Report. customer. and daily wageworker or in ad-hoc capacity. The Bill provides for an effective complaints and redressal mechanism. Further.83 million as per Economic Census. the Bill seeks to cover workplaces in the unorganised sectors. The Governments 9 . every employer is required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee.

From the proposed draft bill it is not clear if the employer is bound by the recommendations of the committee. 3. monetary or otherwise should be provided to the committee members or chairperson.will also be responsible for maintaining data on the implementation of the Law. The complaint should be filed immediately on the occurrence of the alleged incident. b. There is no need for a committee be formed unless to hear a specific complaint. 4. According to the Indian law experts. d. As prevalent in the western world. Would the recommendation of committee be open to challenge in a court of law? f. It pointed out the following: 1. to the satisfaction of the committee. The bill should clearly specify the action to be taken on the respondent in absence of service rules. the proposed Bill will create an elaborate system of reporting and checks and balances. Instead of being gender biased and committed to the cause of women the appointment of the Committee Chairperson and members should be on the basis of their integrity and their judicious approach. Does the respondent have a right to utilize help of legal counsel during the proceedings on the enquiry? g. The power of the committee and the process of the enquiry of the complaint should be well defined. Monetary compensation should not be a part of conciliation proceedings. which will result in effective implementation of the Law. The process of appeals too is not clearly specified. A memorandum was then prepared and publicised in which significant flaws from the bill were pointed out. No remuneration. 10 . a. the government invited the public and lawyers to express their concerns about the bill and suggest changes to its structure. 5. This would to a large extent help avoid potential for misuse. e. It was addressed to the Members of Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee. irrespective of gender. the Employer should bear the financial burden of the compensation ordered to the aggrieved person. Criticism of the bill: Before the bill was approved to be discussed in the parliament to become a law. No members. as that it supposed to be the main purpose of this bill. 2. The Act should be made applicable to all employees. The word woman should be replaced by the word employee in all appropriate places in the draft bill so as to render the proposed draft gender neutral. The powers of the committee and the appeals process should be specified unambiguously. on Human Resources Development of the parliament. the following observations on the ambiguity have been made: c. external to the employer organization should be allowed in the committee. Any complaint not filed within a stipulated time period (4 weeks) should be closely scrutinized for veracity before admission and the delay should be explained in writing by the harassed. In this manner. 6.

The government can alternatively. within a maximum of 30 days. The quality of assistance to be provided by the Employer must be spelt out clearly and unambiguously in the qualified as “committed to the cause of women” in various other upcoming social schemes. So why not apply the very same IPC laws on the employee itself and avoid duplication of laws. 8. Avoid duplication of law as the very bill states that remedies under present Indian Penal Code (IPC) are very much available for the same offense of sexual harassment and can also be easily applied when the harasser is not an employee. women NGO members. 9.7. Mandatory action must be taken against the harassed when the complaint is found to be frivolous or malicious. The committee should be divested of all powers to order any monetary compensation at any stage of the proceedings. suffering. Note: The complete bill can be viewed here: http://priacash.pdf 11 . and claim appropriate redressal as remedy for the mental trauma. emotional distress and social censure caused to the falsely accused person. 11. 10. employ such. Falsely accused person should have the right to pursue justice in a court of law. pain.

The highlight of the paper is the findings on the effects of training in both men and women. The paper also brought to light that a lot of times a harasser is not aware of the fact that he is harassing and so it is important to create this awareness so as to prevent it from occurring at the workplace. No. The paper also suggests training methods for the same. 24. The paper suggests a process that should’ve been followed for a rightful judgement and suggests that the entire legislative approach to discrimination needs to be rethought. The study was done in a public sector organisation in Malaysia. STUDY OF EXISTING LITERATURE This report has identified and reviewed the available literature on sexual harassment to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge.1.. England during the period of 1990-1995. This was done in order to understand the existing research and studies done on the topic. The study helps in understanding the various dimensions of a sexual harassment case. more literature was also reviewed in the process of the research and has been quoted in various parts of the report. After training. Vol. the law and the faulty system. Aileen McColgan “Stewart v Cleveland Guest (Engineering) Ltd. the trial and the verdicts. The paper describes how her grievance was not handled well by the company. They indicated that untrained women have a more serious perception of the issue as compared to men. 3.2 2008 This paper focuses on the importance of training both men and women about variables related to Sexual harassment. No. June 1995 This paper talks about various Sexual harassment and Sex Discrimination at workplace cases handled in the court of law in London.the employer. -Sexual Harassment. how she was wrongly treated after her complaint and the unfair dismissal in the process. Richard Trotter& Susan Rawson Zacur. Vol. The following are the summaries of each individual paper that was read for the purpose of the report. Apart from the following. SUMMARIES OF SOME OF THE REVIEWED PAPERS AND CASE STUDIES 1. both men and women had an increased perception.Cleveland Guest Engineering Ltd. Sex Discrimination and Unfair Dismissal”. 3. the conclusions that were drawn from them and the further scope of study generated from them. The article maintains throughout that an effective policy needs to be developed by an organisation and employees need to be educated about their rights. The highlight of the paper is the case of a woman.Ms. Industrial Law Journal. Stewart v/s the organisation she worked for. 2. “Corporate Sexual Harassment Policies: Effective Strategic Human Resource Management”.3. Number 3 This paper provides a step by step approach to employers for having an effective sexual harassment policy and training program and to prevent its occurrence at all levels of the organisation. “Sexual harassment awareness training at workplace: Can it effect administrators’ perception?” JOAAG. organisations should clearly 12 . According to the paper. Sabitha M. It is also necessary for them to understand the steps to follow in case they are being harassed. Journal Of Business & Economics Research Volume 2. It focuses on the change of perception of what sexual harassment means to people from before training and after training them about it. 3. the employee. The paper briefly describes the cases. 2.

Asian Journal of Communication Vol. Volume 2. Nina Compton. It discusses the impact of this on women in detail and how it leads to discrimination based on gender. As a result of this they are less likely to get promoted or get better compensation and end up with low or no career growth. Cho & L.D.17. It delves into the fact that masculinity is a hegemony and that men have a need to be superior and more aggressive than women. John Lehman. Activities which are considered normal in one culture can be interpreted as immoral in another culture. Summer 2010 The article discusses how “Sex Segregation” is still prevalent in society and covers two aspects of its impact on masculinity and men. S. Anti-Essentialism. Number 3 This paper describes a case of an American woman working for the German division of her firm and her experience of sexual harassment in the workplace goes unacknowledged and unsolved because of the varying culture. Apart from preference to males. It also suggests that further work be done to strengthen the current legal system for Sexual harassment by lawmakers with the help of Social Science literature and Behavioural studies. The paper includes a survey and a study which conclusively proves that Korean women journalists are not given important stories to cover as they are considered “less capable” for the job. 6. Multi-cultural and multi-national organisations often face dilemmas because different cultures have different ethical perceptions. Number 1. “Sexual Harassment In The Workplace: Europe”. 4. “Gender Discrimination in Korean Newsrooms”. Journal of Business Case Studies – Third Quarter 2006. leading to both confrontation and mutual incomprehension. and Masculinity “. Thus. maintain a proper grievance system and thorough investigative processes in place. thus avoiding legal complications.enforce the conduct required at the workplace. even harassment in many cases 13 . It also suggests alternative methods of tackling genuine complaints by punishing of the harasser and compensating the harassed within the organisation. it is important for organisations to carry out inter-cultural training to their employees on foreign assignments. This has resulted in many talented women not entering or leaving jobs as journalists. Volume 2. 7. It looks at the policy not only from the point of view of a harassed employee but from the point of view of the employer in order to avoid false claims. “How Workplace Managers Can Protect Against Hostile Environment Claims From Their Female And Male Employees A Legal Review Of Decisional Law”. Journal of Diversity Management. It indicates that a strong policy that is approved by the court along with a strong investigation process can save an organisation from the loss of finances as well as reputation. No. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. David S.3. Volume 33:2. Korea is a patriarchal society where women are not being given equal opportunities as men despite being as capable. Cohen. The paper also talks about how culture shock can be tackled at its 7 stages and avoided further. the study also illustrates the prevalence of sexual harassment in Korean workplaces. September2007 The paper describes the Gender Discrimination being faced by women working for Newspapers in Korea. 2007 The paper describes the importance of Sexual harassment policy making for an organisation and provides pointers on what makes a good policy. Davenport. 5. “Keeping Men “Men” and Women Down: Sex Segregation.

These will provide a more direct mechanism to prevent its occurrence in workplaces.S. This has lead to a rise in the Women joining the army making the army a non-hostile working environment. Journal of Applied Psychology. This paper is extremely relevant to the topic of Gender Discrimination and Development and helps understanding the importance and impact of women at workplace. “Creating a True Army of One: Four Proposals to Combat Sexual Harassment in Today's Army”. Army. Volume 30:1. constructed and programmed into the society for a long time. 2 14 . Winter 2007 The article discusses the evolution of Sexual Harassment policies if the U. J. It compares and contrasts the Army before and the Army now showing the present Zero Tolerance to harassment and the legislations that support it. 8. It explains the judicial system of the US Army and how it handles cases of harassment and how it further aims to reduce the occurrence as it is extremely important for the army’s performance as well as finances. the value they added in context to the regulatory state implemented to enrich standard of living. 2008. “Perceived Sexual Harassment at Work: MetaAnalysis and Structural Model of Antecedents and Consequences”. Depolo. Dana Michael Hollywood. The concept of “Anti-Essentialism” in the paper makes it clear that male dominance is not exactly a natural phenomenon but something that has been developed. Volume 31:1. 11.and goes to the extent of abuse and violence in others. 10. 1 This paper conducts a study so as to meta-analytically review the studies on Sexual harassment at work. The US Army disbanded Gender Segregation (Woman‘s Army Corps) and created an “Equal Opportunity” policy which also gave importance to harassment. Their research clearly shows that Sexual Harassment can be rooted to its most common antecedent. 9. Vol. It reinforces the importance of Women at work and in this case. Jennifer L. The paper also provides directions for further study suggesting that the studies be done not only from the point of view of the victim but also his/her co-workers and supervisors. 92. The author stresses that the phenomenon should be far from accepted or justified and should instead be opposed and unconditioned from people’s minds. 2007. but this enforces that the strong link between organisational characteristics and sexual harassment should not be ignored as. “Women At Work: Towards an Inclusive Narrative of the Rise of the Regulatory State” . Based on calculations from the data gathered from an extensive survey. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. it tests the model and proposes a final one.Social interaction.Cantisano. “The Sexual Harassment of Uppity Women”. Vol. It studies the previous research done on Sexual harassment and proposes a model linking sexual harassment with its antecedents and consequences. Domínguez & M. No. F. No. G. Earlier theoretical work offered explanation the problem sociologically and psychologically. The Spanish Journal of Psychology. Arianne Renan Barzilay. It talks about how Sexual Harassment was perceived earlier and how it is perceived now. The article maintains that social regulation is an important practice which is further enhanced by women participation. Winter 2008 This article throws light on the major role played my women reformers in the rise of the regulatory state in the United States of America. Berdahl. 11.

Three coping profiles were then identified: Detached. The case was in her favour under the Third Circuit. Vol. 13. Avoidant Negotiating and Support Seeking.1 This paper does a study on how different women respond and cope with sexual harassment. Study 1 showed that Women who were had masculine personality traits are more likely to be sexually harassed. 1998. and Cultures”. Volume 28. The study observes remarkably similar coping profiles across three distinct cultures and two occupational classes. 28. 12. Journal of Applied Psychology. Winter 2005 This paper describes a Sexual Harassment case and how the trial went in favour of the employer thereby disproving the existence of equal opportunities. Also. Blakely. the observed women go through Gender Harassment. 14. The Third Circuit addressed the issue of sexual harassment better as it encouraged more preventive policies and procedures and was more sensitive to what the employees face at the workplace. E. G. the Supreme Court failed to resolve the problem and forced the creation of an unrealistic image of power dynamics at the workplace. “The Effects of Training on Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Allegations”. 1 This paper is one of the earlier studies done in the field. Unwanted Sexual Attention and Sexual coercion. Cortina & Wasti. In the study. Journal of Applied Psychology.90. “Profiles in Coping: Responses to Sexual Harassment Across Persons. 2005. lack of fairness and rampant power play. The case occurred in the Pennsylvania State Police office when their employee Nancy Suders quit her job because she was being harassed by her supervisors at the workplace. The Supreme Court chose the ‘Ellerth/Faragher Defence’ in making their ruling. Sexual harassment will not be limited to the very few formal grievances. No. But it was overruled by the Supreme Court making Suders’ action as an employee unacceptable. Study 2 suggested that strong women were more likely to negatively evaluate harassment or potential harassers.This paper revolves around 3 studies conducted by the author in order to test two distinct views on the phenomenon of Sexual Harassment. By favouring the opposite. Amal Bass. This model will help build a less hostile workplace environment. “Pennsylvania State Police v. Companies will now know better when how to intervene in a problem and can have better support systems that help the employee cope. Study 3 highlighted that women who were working in male-dominant jobs experienced more harassment and this was again pointed to the fact that there personalities were different from ideal feminine ones. it suggested that the reason relatively masculine women experienced the most sexual harassment in Study 1 is probably not due to an enhanced likelihood on their part to view these experiences negatively but instead reflects an actual likelihood for them to experience more sexual harassment. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. Suders: Turning a Blind Eye to the Reality of Sexual Harassment”. Blakely and R. managers who supervise employees from different backgrounds may benefit from culturally sensitive training related to sexual harassment. The studies concluded that Sexual harassment was more driven towards the “Deviant” women than the “Desired” ones. Moorman. 15 . More generally. Organizations. It also developed an ecological model within which to predict women’s coping behaviour.

Specifically. It was observed that women considered most sexual harassment actions severely offensive irrespective of the movie. F. the most experienced female managers reported disapproval levels for the use favouritism in decision making related to customer relations equal to that of the most experienced male managers. and Job Selection: The Use of Ordinal Logit in Analyzing Likert Scale Data”. indicates a higher rate of harassment at male-dominated workplaces and shows that women being harassed undergo more psychological problems and stronger turnover intentions. “Sex-Role Stereotyping. 1998. The survey in the paper collects data from women at a regulated West Coast utility in USA. Sharon L. J.L. the findings showed that while gender biases are found only slightly in the hiring decisions of male and females evaluators. The severity was ambiguous for those who hadn’t seen the movie and drastically different and more severe for those who had. This results in lowered productivity and carries heavy organisational costs as well. There was a film on sexual harassment shown to a part of the group and not shown to the other. It also discovers the psychological and job outcomes of Sexual harassment. however. Results show that previous gender biases in job selection have all but disappeared.. “Antecedents and consequences of sexual harassment in organizations: A test of an integrated model”. V. & Magley.. But men displayed a change in what they perceived as sexually offensive. Sims. Journal of Applied Psychology. Drasgow.. Gender Biases. Snipes. The results also indicated that male managers were less likely to disapprove of the use of unearned privilege when they had greater years of management experience. the perception of the applicant’s future job performance was generally less favourable 16 . 15. Bahaudin G.. Gelfand. Hulin.15 October 2010 This paper describes the concepts of unearned privilege and favouritism and tests if there are differences in managerial attitudes towards the use of these behaviours based on respondent gender. 82 (4). Caudill. Mujtaba and Randi L.. C. “Gender Differences in Managerial Attitudes Towards Unearned Privilege and Favoritism in the Retail Sector”. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. Robin L. The study thereby concluded on the importance of training and education on the topic as an essential measure for prevention. L.J. 16. In addition. Fitzgerald. Volume 11. The basis of the study is that harassment practices are a function of organizational and job characteristics. The survey confirms the initial basis.J. 1997 This is another early study in the field that provides the framework of a model that shows the antecedents and consequences of Sexual harassment in organizations. It also suggests that further research be carried out to examine whether increasing one’s sensitivity directly affects their sexually oriented work behaviour or weather the relationship between attitudes and behaviour is dodgy and inconclusive.It describes a study that was conducted among a large group of men and women at different workplaces. The results indicate that female managers more strongly disapproved of the use of unearned privilege in making promotion decisions and more strongly disapproved of the decision to use favouritism in decision making related to customer relations. Number 2 Sex-role stereotyping and gender biases are examined in a study of 246 individuals. Oswald and Steven B. biases still seem prevalent in the assessment of individuals'' long term success on the job. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. 17.F.

in contrast to white women and both white and black men. female participants reported seeing significantly more offensive behaviour in the video segments than did male participants. “Perceptions of Sexual Harassment: The Effects of Gender. “The Supreme Court Holds Class on Sexual Harassment: How to Avoid a Failing Grade”. and having a disparate negative impact and systematically placing women at a disadvantage in today's workforce. Organizational Justice Perceptions. Patricia A. Law and Human Behavior. Ellen A. Brenda Russell. Barnes. Male and female graduate and undergraduate students viewed 10 video segments viewed segments of the Anita Hill case. Simpson and Michelle Kaminski. namely that women place greater value on interactional justice than on distributive or procedural justice. The explanation of each error is followed by a brief practical directive to aid management in formulating appropriate policies and practices on that topic. No. 19. Stokes. Volume 19. 18.toward the female applicant as compared to males. Results indicate that gender leads to valuing interactional justice more highly only in interaction with race. Number 1 17 . Specifically. Number 3 This study explores evidence of gender-based vicarious sensitivity to disempowering behaviour in organizations. Volume 21. Linda Hurt.S. and Union Organizing”. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. Frederica M. They employ a survey study design to confirm expectations associated with the anecdotal literature on this topic. 20. expanding the concept of hostile working environment beyond the context of sexual harassment. Legal Standard. Richard L. Ensher. 1 The authors examine the relationship between gender and organizational justice perceptions and the implications of this relationship for organizing women. Kelley Mannen and Charles Gasper. Charles M. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. and Ambivalent Sexism”. An important contribution of this study is in the methodology. The results are discussed in terms of greater female sensitivity to common forms of disempowering behaviour in organizations. 1997. Supreme Court in its 1997–98 session. Hendricks and Claudia Harris. It introduces the use of an ordinal framework which improves upon previous research. black women give greater weight to being treated with dignity and respect than to the other two organizational justice dimensions. “Gender. The purpose is to highlight the most common mistakes made by management as evidenced by the case history on this topic. Volume 12. “Gender-Based Vicarious Sensitivity to Disempowering Behavior in Organizations: Exploring an Expanded Concept of Hostile Working Environment”. Vance. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. Although no significant relationship was found between the personal attributes of age and ethnicity to perceptions of disempowering behaviour. This article gives managers a quick checklist to ensure that their policies and practices avoid common problems and are up to date with the latest court interpretations on sexual harassment. Wiener. Pamela P.Volume 16. 21. A concluding section describes the desired result of each recommendation from the perspective of the employees. Each mistake is described in the context of the cases and with reference to widespread business practices. Sue Stewart-Belle and Joyce M. Number 2 This article analyzes the three recent sexual harassment cases decided by the U.

Maureen O'Connor. 22. including ambivalent sexism attitudes of the raters. “Explaining Sexual Harassment Judgments: Looking Beyond Gender of the Rater”. and self-referencing that might help explain rater judgments. However. Yet. men scored higher in both ASHPBW and ASHTM. and Ambivalence Toward Men”. Gutek. found more evidence of harassment. and community vs. hostile sexism and benevolence toward men predicted ASHPBW. Participants included 220 Turkish undergraduates (136 were female with minimum age of 20). gender. may have been overemphasized to the exclusion of other situational and rater characteristic variables.From the issue entitled "Psychology. Nuray Sakallı-Uğurlu. 2004. suggesting that men are more tolerant of sexual harassment.Law and Human Behavior. Law and the Workplace". It also shows that men were less sensitive to the reasonable woman standard than women. A sample of undergraduates was administered with uncertain sexism inventory along with the fact patterns in two harassment cases. hostile and benevolent sexism predicted ASHTM. including attitudes toward viewing sexual harassment as a result of provocative behaviors of women (ASHPBW) and attitudes toward viewing sexual harassment as a trivial matter (ASHTM). And. They tended to blame women for the incidents of sexual harassment whereas they viewed sexual harassment as a very important social problem. Volume 28. raters (undergraduates and community adults). In the studies reported here. As compared to women. Geer and Renée Melançon. student sample 18 . those high in benevolent sexism did not exhibit the hostile sexism effects. They were asked to make legally relevant decisions under either the reasonable woman or person standard. ambivalence toward men (hostility/benevolence) and Turkish women/men’s attitudes toward sexual harassment. for only men. “Predictors of Turkish Women’s and Men’s Attitudes toward Sexual Harassment: Ambivalent Sexism. this one variable. Volume 63. This study attempts to look beyond gender to answer this question. Sex Roles. one finding that appears repeatedly is that gender of the rater influences judgments about sexual harassment such that women are more likely than men to label behaviour as sexual harassment. sexual harassment judgments are complex. The nature of the work environment was manipulated to see what. The study reveals that those high in hostile sexism. either read a written scenario or viewed a videotaped re-enactment of a sexual harassment trial. For both genders. particularly in situations that culminate in legal proceedings. However. Barbara A. Additionally. 23. effect the context would have on gender effects. a number of rater characteristics beyond gender were measured. Number 1 In two decades of research on sexual harassment. Respondent gender. Tracey M. their judgments of harassed credibility. if any.This research tests the possibility that the reasonable woman as compared to the reasonable person test of hostile work environment sexual harassment interacts with hostile sexist beliefs and under some conditions triggers protectionist attitudes toward women who complain of sexual harassment. and women. Numbers 11-12 This study examined the relationships among ambivalent sexism (hostile/benevolent). Margaret Stockdale. work environment. Under some conditions the reasonable woman standard enabled both genders to find greater evidence of harassment. Selin Salman and Sinem Turgut.

Kulik. Law and Human Behavior.. Robyn A. The probability that the decision would favour the plaintiff was only 16% when the case was heard by an older judge but 45% when heard by a younger judge. race. Number 1 Courts and legislatures have begun to develop the reasonable woman standard (RWS) as a criterion for deciding sexual harassment trials. and draw attention to the status effect. “Here Comes the Judge: The Influence of Judge Personal Characteristics on Federal Sexual Harassment Case Outcomes”. “The Reasonable Woman Standard: A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender Differences in Perceptions of Sexual Harassment “. consistent with a context-based hypothesis. Narrative reviews of the literature on such perceptions have suggested that these assumptions are only minimally supported. Carol T. Law and Human Behavior. 2009. a metaanalytic review was conducted that assessed the size. This standard rests on assumptions of a wide divergence between the perceptions of men and women when viewing social-sexual behaviour that may be considered harassing. as one alternative to the importance of gender effects. Results revealed that even after controlling for the effects of relevant case characteristics (e. “Assessing Liability for Sexual Harassment: Reactions of Potential Jurors to Email Versus Face-to-Face Incidents”. and political affiliation) and case characteristics on the outcomes of federal cases of hostile environment sexual harassment. earlier claims are echoed 19 . Results found that email harassment was perceived more harshly.differences produced reliable differences in sexual harassment ratings in both the written and video trial versions of the study. The gender and sample differences in the sexual harassment ratings. The paper considers juror decision-making for both guilt and level of award to randomly assigned scenarios involving multiple levels of harassment. perceptions of the harassed's credibility. and raters' own ability to put them in the harassed's position. 26. Elissa L. Email and faceto-face incidents are compared to determine the importance of context on decision-making. severity of the harassment). 2003. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. Specifically. The effect of the actor's status relative to the target also was evaluated meta-analytically. are explained by a model which incorporates hostile sexism. Berkley and David M. age. Number 1 This study explored the effects of judges' personal characteristics (gender. 1998. To test these assumptions quantitatively. The probability that the decision would favour the plaintiff was only 18% when the case was heard by a judge who had been appointed by a Republican president but 46% when the judge had been appointed by a Democrat president. Kaplan. From the issue entitled "Gender and the Law". and moderators of gender differences in perceptions of sexual harassment. Volume 22. younger judges and Democrat judges were more likely to find for the plaintiff (the alleged victim of harassment). In discussing legal implications of the present findings. judges' personal characteristics influenced case outcomes. Number 3 This paper investigates reactions of potential jurors to sexual harassment incidents. 25. Volume 27. The paper concludes with organizational implications for better handling sexual harassment awareness training as well as Internet usage guidelines. 24. Perry and Molly B. stability. Jeremy A. Volume 21. Pepper.g. Results supported the claims of narrative reviews for a relatively small gender effect. however. Blumenthal.

and rated the defendant and victim on several dimensions.e. Sandy Hershcovis. Higher guilt ratings. over-performance demands. Parker and Tara C.. Results showed that sexual harassment from insiders was related to higher intentions to quit. The report was filed either immediately or 18 months later. and role identity theory – to compare the job-related outcomes of sexual harassment from organizational insiders (i. Sharon K. is discussed. “Assessing Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Behaviours in a Manufacturing Environment”. Perceptions of harassment varied according to job classification. Comparisons of employees' scores demonstrated that male workers. or was not specified. Bruce W. Women in white-collar jobs were significantly more knowledgeable about what behaviours constitute sexual harassment than women in blue-collar jobs. Journal of Business and Psychology. and motive either was presented as selfless. Number 4 This study. power. the reasonable victim standard. “The Moderating Effect of Equal Opportunity Support and Confidence in Grievance Procedures on Sexual Harassment from Different Perpetrators”. Volume 48. Volume 92. and more negative evaluations of the defendant were associated with immediate reporting and an selfless motive.. 29. 2009. equal opportunity support mitigated the effects of sexual harassment from supervisors on intent to quit and over-performance demands. Participants chose a verdict. whereas sexual harassment from outsiders was not significantly related to any of the outcome variables investigated. more positive evaluations of the victim. Reich.e. rated the defendant's guilt. investigated employee perceptions of the behaviours of supervisors and co-workers that constitute quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment. M. 28. supervisors and co-workers) and organizational outsiders (i. Mary E. Deborah Ware Balogh. Icenogle. Journal of Business Ethics. were more frequently accurate in identifying behaviours of both supervisors and co-workers that constitute sexual harassment. offenders and members of the public) in a sample of 482 UK police officers and police support staff. Hanks. Marjorie L. “The Effects of Delayed Report and Motive for Reporting on Perceptions of Sexual Harassment”. Kerri L. retaliatory. Responses indicated that the majority of employees can accurately identify behaviours that are frequently associated with quid pro quo harassment. Numbers 7-8 The paper examines whether the timing of the report and the victim's apparent motive for reporting influences women's and men's perceptions of sexual harassment. 2002. Number 3 This study drew on three theoretical perspectives – attribution theory. relative to female workers. Pickel. but cannot identify behaviours that are used to establish evidence of a hostile work environment.suggesting caution in establishing the reasonable woman standard. Confidence in grievance procedures moderated the relationship 20 . Kite. Undergraduates (153 women.Volume 16. We also examined two moderator variables: equal opportunity support and confidence in grievance procedures. conducted in a manufacturing plant. Eagle. 27. and lower job satisfaction. Consistent with the hypotheses. Sex Roles. although women weighed these factors more heavily than did men. Deniz Canel and James Schroeder. and one alternative to the RWS. 149 men) listened to 1 of 6 versions of audio-taped testimony of the victim and defendant. Sohel Ahmad and Lisa A. 2003.

Barbara A. Number 4 This paper reviews and critiques the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ)-“a self-report inventory representing the first attempt to assess the prevalence of sexual harassment in a manner that met traditional psychometric standards”. the SEQ is not a finished product. Ryan O. Janice R. Henderson. Julie A. Peirce. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. 30. This study was designed to examine real-time consequences of subtle sexual harassment in a job interview using objective indicators of job performance. and asked fewer job relevant questions than did those in the non-sexual interview. and lower competency ratings for the female interviewer. . Volume 38. the SEQ lacks the advantages of standardized measures. Woodzicka and Marianne LaFrance. It thus appears that even relatively mild harassment disrupts immediate performance. Volume 53. wording of items). Numbers 7-8 The paper investigates how men who differ in their likelihood to sexually harass (LSH) are perceived by themselves and others. Driscoll. Because of inconsistencies (e. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two interview conditions during which they were asked either three sexual or non-sexual questions interspersed with standard interview questions. “A Review and Critique of the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ)”. a less feminine personality. 2005. 1997. in time frame. having the effect of distorting findings about sexual harassment. 33. it is not clear what or whose definition of sexual harassment the SEQ assesses. Implications for theory and practice are also discussed. Volume 28.between sexual harassment from supervisors and all outcome variables. Denise M. Numbers 1-2 The long-term consequences of moderate to severe sexual harassment have been discussed a lot in other studies but little is known about the immediate effects of more subtle harassment. has a number of problems. Participants rated her performance and then responded to self-report attitudinal and personality scales. Most importantly. 2004. Benson Rosen and Tammy Bunn Hiller. Sex Roles. number of items. 1998. Fifty women were recruited for a job interview. Law and Human Behavior. Higher LSH men reported more traditional attitudes toward women's roles. women applicants spoke less fluently. In the former. gave lower quality answers. (2) more masculine. 31. Murphy and Bambi Douma. and has weak psychometric properties. Number 3 21 . “Can Perceivers Identify Likelihood to Sexually Harass?”. 32. Ellen R. (3) less feminine. Volume 10. Kelly and Wendy L. and (4) more traditional toward women's roles than low LSH men.. Widely used by its developers and others as a measure of sexual harassment. Breaking the Silence: Creating UserFriendly Sexual Harassment Policies. Gutek. Sex Roles. Ability of men and women to predict or identify LSH was observed to be different and more accurate for women implying the lack of awareness in certain areas. 36 Caucasian male participants were videotaped while being interviewed by a subordinate female. Study 2 investigated whether participants could differentiate between high and low LSH men from video clips.g. In Study 1. such as the ability to assess changes over time. It defines sexual harassment very broadly. 81 male and 76 female Caucasian participants rated high LSH men (compared to low LSH men) as (1) higher in LSH. “The Effects of Subtle Sexual Harassment on Women’s Performance in a Job Interview”.

Their responses to the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ) revealed five typical profiles of 22 . 35. Survey data came from women working in two male-dominated contexts: the military and the legal profession. The findings conclude in terms of the need for organizations to develop more user-friendly sexual harassment reporting procedures. Next we discuss the results of our survey based on a national sample of 1500 working women. Law and Human Behaviour. Women tended to view power as a negotiated process in which power was gained and lost through interactions. Consequently. Stans de Haas. Leskinen. the women tended to perceive all members of an organization as possible harassers. When these men and women were given an opportunity to discuss these issues during mixed gendered interactions. Miriam Zaagsma and Ine Vanwesenbeeck. Consequently. Greetje Timmerman. “Gender Harassment: Broadening Our Understanding of Sex-Based Harassment at Work”. the study discusses briefly the psychophysiological consequences experienced by victims. “The Impact of Sexual Harassment Policy in the Dutch Police Force”. To be able to identify divisions with comprehensive policies. Mechtild Höing. Volume 54. 2006. they failed to recognize the gendered constructions of power. To better understand the consequences of sexual harassment to women and the legal implications to the corporation. Number 1 This study challenges the common legal and organizational practice of privileging sexual advance forms of sex-based harassment. The paper examines the reasons underlying women's reluctance to report sexual harassment and identifies policies and procedures to encourage the reporting of sexual harassment. Kabat. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. “Gendered Constructions of Power During Discourse About Sexual Harassment: Negotiating Competing Meanings” Sex Roles.Numerous surveys suggest that while the number of women in the work force who have experienced sexual harassment is high. Lilia M. Number 4 The aim this study comes across as an evaluation of the outcome of sexual harassment policy in the Dutch Police Force. the risk of sexual harassment was not lower in divisions that implemented comprehensive policies than in divisions with less comprehensive policies. they tended to view sexual harassers as managers and supervisors. The results suggest that sexual harassment is a workplace hazard that is very difficult to prevent in male dominated workplaces and implementing a comprehensive policy is not sufficient to prevent this workplace hazard. while neglecting gender harassment. Emily A. followed by a review of sexual harassment law. Dougherty. Numbers 7-8 This study uses same-sex and mixed-sex focus groups and stimulated recall interviews and was designed to identify and explore gendered constructions of power during discourse about sexual harassment. 2011. Debbie S. we interviewed 29 key persons in semistructured interviews. It was discovered that the men tended to construct power as hierarchically held by individuals with formal authority. 2009 Volume 22. the number of those who are willing to actually report incidents of harassment is far lower. Using a survey. Cortina and Dana B. 36. sexual harassment was measured in 2000 and again in 2006 and we tested whether sexual harassment is associated with the comprehensiveness of policies. It appeared that between 2000 and 2006 sexual harassment did not decrease: neither for women nor for men. Furthermore. 34. Volume 35.

Hierarchical linear and logistic analyses confirmed that sexual harassment experiences were significantly correlated with PTSD symptoms after controlling for an extensive set of trauma variables measured in both the baseline and follow up interviews. Elizabeth A. For the latter. The study was conducted by manipulating: (1) contrast effects. but not the other. performance appraisal). gender-harassed women showed significant decrements in professional and psychological well-being. 2009. 38. Pesta. by having people judge other. 39. Margaret S. it was hypothesized that if judgments about harassment are qualitatively similar to judgments made in other areas (e. Number 2 The study looks at whether ratings biases can influence judgments people make about sexually harassing behaviours. they too should show contrast effects. prior sexual abuse. gender harassment. 176 online participants read and rated the severity of complaint scenarios describing different incidents of alleged harassment.g. These findings underscore the seriousness of gender harassment. 2007. When this different treatment involves hostile environment sexual harassment of one group. T. reasonable victim. it was hypothesized people would use 23 . For the former. independent scenarios before judging a target scenario.and then an opposite-gender perspective. standard to facilitate a closer analysis of hostile environment sexual harassment suits. which described virtually no unwanted sexual advances. Volume 33. Our findings lend further evidence that claims of PTSD from sexual harassment may be credible even if claimants have been victims of other forms of trauma. subsequently. which merits greater attention by both law and social science. When compared to non-victims. Journal of Business and Psychology. Logan and Rebecca Weston. Law and Human Behaviour. gender harassment with unwanted sexual attention. Volume 22.. 2004. K. Stockdale. treat them differently. Dunegan and Mary W. Number 5 This study examined the extent to which harassment experiences correlate with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The vast majority of harassment victims fell into one of the first two groups. and (2) rater-perspective effects. and whether diagnosable PTSD on the basis of sexual harassment occurs after accounting for prior PTSD. “Contrast and Rater-Perspective Effects on Judgments of Sexual Harassment Severity: What He Thinks She Thinks. Volume 28. Number 1 If male workers categorize different groups of women co-workers and. and prior psychological dysfunction. a court could mistake the women of the non-harassed group as representing “reasonable women” and the women of the harassed group as simply oversensitive. Without this understanding of the nuances of the workplace dynamics. 37. Bryan J. by having people judge from both a self. The sample consisted of a two-wave panel of 445 women who had received a domestic violence protective order from a Kentucky court. “Selective Sexual Harassment: Differential Treatment of Similar Groups of Women Workers”. Law and Human Behavior. Hrivnak. and Vice Versa”. This paper draws on empirical data to demonstrate such a situation and advocates for a version of the.harassment: low victimization. and high victimization. the experiences of women from one of these groups would not be indicative of the experiences of women from another group. moderate victimization. then the law must recognize the possibility of selective sexual harassment. Kenneth J. ”Sexual Harassment and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Damages Beyond Prior Abuse”. Hoffmann.

In sum.. These findings suggest a complexity in the way people reconcile their knowledge of the law with their personal views about power and social interaction in the workplace. 2008. and how the social groups the law protects interpret and use it. It also gives special focus to non-traditional and same-sex sexual harassment. opinions about the regulation of sexual harassment. Legality. Law & Social Inquiry. University of Florida. Law & Social Inquiry. Prevent. Some of those frames emerge from feminist messages about discrimination and male abuse of power in the workplace. Encourage. The results indicate that how people define sexual harassment is directly related to the extent to which they view sexual harassment rules as ambiguous and threatening to workplace norms. how people learn about the law. and social status affect whether people define uninvited sexual jokes or remarks as harassment. deal with. results show that while women generally define sexual harassment more broadly than men. IFAS. knowledge of the workplace sexual harassment policy moderates the effect of beliefs on definitions of sexual harassment. 41. Tinkler. thereby overestimating the true (i. “Injustice Frames. Wysock. While legal frames do provide crucial guidance to women evaluating the behaviour of their colleagues and supervisors.e. Moreover. Angelina C. working women deployed a number of other interpretive frames when deciding whether they had been harmed by such behaviour. 42. Volume 33.stereotypes about the other gender. It discusses that same-sex harassment is prevalent in heterosexual people also and highlights the menace of cyber-stalking. Issue 3 This paper examines the frames that women use to understand their experience with sexual harassment. mitigate and solve traditional and non-traditional cases of sexual harassment. Justine E. Results of the survey supported both hypotheses. It also concludes that managers should be trained and equipped with the required tools to understand. Anna-Maria Marshall. they actually resist defining sexual jokes or remarks as harassment. “People Are Too Quick to Take Offense”: The Effects of Legal Information and Beliefs on Definitions of Sexual Harassment. December 2009 This paper acts a basic guideline for any human resources department to follow. this article investigates how legal understanding. the findings from the analyses provide evidence that future sociolegal research should take note of the variations in the content of the law. some emerge from management ideology that emphasizes efficiency and productivity. Volume 28. Toomey and Allen F. Finally. suggesting that decision makers should be aware of the possible influence of biases when judging whether behaviours constitute harassment. Issue 2 Using data from a nationwide study of sexual harassment in the United States’ federal workplace. “Sexual Harassment in the Information Age: The Human Resource Manager's Guide to Non-traditional Sexual Harassment”. 40. and the Everyday Construction of Sexual Harassment”. and some emerge from the criticism of sexual harassment policies as an unnecessary limitation on women's sexual 24 . self-perspective driven) gender difference. It focuses on establishing What Sexual Harassment is and how it is present in today’s time in the workplace environment. It gives a step by step procedure to deal with a sexual harassment case and more importantly its prevention which is: Inform.

the authors conclude by noting the potential for important theoretical. this article examines how endorsement of the meritocratic worldview shapes these discrimination-related processes. 44. In-depth interviews with personnel at each campus shed light on problems with inserting a complaint resolution process into an institution that simultaneously strives to eliminate sexual harassment. empirical. This inherent conflict of goals is reflected in the differing roles of the Title IX office and the Women's Resource Center. “Unraveling the Ivory Fabric: Institutional Obstacles to the Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints”. It then goes on by addressing whether individuals who perceive discrimination are willing to report their perceptions. and applied advances on 25 . Brenda Major. and in the two branches of dispute resolution. Volume 25. But feeling a sense of harm does not automatically translate into the use of the label sexual harassment. Throughout. Merry 1979. women also employed an objective standard that compared their experience to some threshold of harassing behaviours. Engel 1987. 2000. “The Paradox of Complaining: Law. Only when the behaviours met this standard of offensiveness and were perceived as harmful did women consider their experiences sexual harassment. The contradictory effects of this tactic-counter tactic pairing on the naming and claiming of the harm of sexual harassment are examined. “A Social Psychological Perspective on Perceiving and Reporting Discrimination”. Using in-depth interviews with both women and men. A common counter tactic–”not taking it personal”– is analyzed for its simultaneous power as resistance and unwitting collaboration. in creation of a user friendly policy. Sarat and Kearns 1993). 45. Volume 31. 2006.freedom. Humor.. 43. Building on the work of Bumiller (1988) and the tradition of sociological studies focusing on understanding the power of the law in its everyday context (e. as well as the implications this has for combating sexual harassment in the workplace. Law & Social Inquiry. Issue 4 This article addresses the question of women's seeming rejection of sexual harassment law by refusing to apply the label “sexual harassment” in the face of incidents that would easily qualify as such. Law & Social Inquiry. Beth A. Jennie Kihnley. Rather. Issue 1 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 make universities liable for sexual harassment that occurs within both the employment and academic contexts. Kaiser.g. the author explores the ways a particular form of hostile work environment harassment–dubbed “chain yanking”–poaches on the realm of ambiguous humor to effect male group solidarity and women's disempowerment. Quinn. This article examines how universities implement and enforce the mandates of both Title VII and Title IX through exploratory research about sexual harassment complaint procedures at a public university system on the West Coast. this analysis explores the “tactical milieu” in which both hostile work environment sexual harassment and tactics for its resistance are produced. as well as the interpersonal consequences they might face for so doing. and Harassment in the Everyday Work World”. Volume 25. The article begins with an examination of factors that affect whether individuals perceive themselves as targets of discrimination. Law & Social Inquiry. Finally. 2006. while wanting to protect itself from liability. Cheryl R. Issue 4 This article reviews social psychological theory and empirical research on perceiving and reporting discrimination.

Herbert Jacob laid the foundation for the legal mobilization research that has flourished in recent years. Cortina. Freeman.Special Issue on Sexual Harassment. CRSA/RCS University of Toronto. The federal judges of this circuit were surveyed about their experiences. and race that created social distance between the women and their harassers and employers. Aysan Sev’er. In addition. “Understanding the Judicial Role in Addressing Gender Bias: A View from the Eighth Circuit Federal Court System”. the options for action in response. the role of trial judges in the litigation process is frequently debated. “Closing the Gaps: Plaintiffs in Pivotal Sexual Harassment Cases”. This paper builds on Jacob's original insights to analyze the origins of the claim for sexual harassment as a Title VII violation. Magley. the paper examines the interaction of class. This distance made informal resolution of their disputes impossible. Results indicated that although judges viewed judicial intervention as an appropriate response to gender bias. response strategies and effects.Louise F. Jacob showed that their social identities and Communications networks influenced their decisions to use the power of the law to vindicate their interests. 1999 In this article. the judicial role in addressing gender bias in federal litigation.Lilia M. Organizational and patriarchal power models as well as role and attribution theories are discussed. and the persistent discrepancy in viewpoints on gender bias and the judicial role. using data gathered for the Eighth Circuit Gender Fairness Task Force is explored. Where We Are and Prospects for the New Millennium”. and opinions of gender biased conduct.Vicki J. 2002. requiring the intervention of third parties. 47. 48. Volume 23.discrimination scholarship that can arise from interdisciplinary collaboration among legal scholars and social scientists. Furthermore. and identifies remaining barriers to safe work and leisure environments for women. leading to a proposal of a multifaceted social responsibility model to better deal with the complexities of sexual harassment. when specific hypothetical scenarios were presented. Law & Social Inquiry. The Eighth Circuit data thus provide the basis for expanded understanding of the conduct at issue. 46. In arguing that litigants were political actors. This analysis of a particular moment in legal history reveals the potential political significance of private litigation. they had little personal experience with intervention in such a situation. Lonsway. 26 . “Sexual Harassment: Where We Were. observations. as well as the incidence and perseverance of sexual harassment are summarized along with correlates. Fitzgerald. Issue 2 According to research. Kimberly A. 1998. Anna-Maria Marshall. they generally agreed that the described conduct was inappropriate but offered little consensus regarding the best course of action for an attorney or judge confronted with such behaviour.Leslie V. their Communications networks led them to attorneys able to generate and expand the new claim for sexual harassment. Definitions and conceptualizations. Volume 27. Law & Social Inquiry. The paper ends with an assessment of the contribution of this special issue to the field. gender. In the paper. Issue 4 Background Information for this study: When he wrote Debtors in Court almost 30 years ago. the author summarizes the major highlights of the burgeoning literature on sexual harassment and briefly reviews the remaining issues and how they may be addressed. By focusing on the women who filed those claims.

A. Human Resource Development Review December 2003 Vol. Gwendolyn M. “Towards a Theoretical Model of Performance Inhibiting Workplace Dynamics”. “The Duality Of Race and Gender for Managerial African American Women: Implications of Informal Social Networks on Career Advancement”.49. human resource development scholars and practitioners need to understand such dynamics in order to eliminate or reduce their effects on employee performance. It is hypothesized that the negative influences on employee performance in the model occur by alteration of one or more of the following three of Swanson's performance variables at the individual level: mission/goal. As a field that considers performance as an important outcome of its practice. Informal social networks for managerial African American women may be less accessible and may operate under different dimensions than for their African American male and White female and male counterparts. Mesut Akdere. or motivation. 2 No. Patriarchal Indian society forms an essential backdrop to an understanding of this subject. This article analyses the problems faced by women academic scientists in the work environment at four institutes reputed for excellence in teaching and research in science and technology in India. Sharma. 4 A construct and model of performance inhibiting workplace dynamics is introduced to conceptualize the adverse consequences on performance and quality of certain interpersonal interactions in the workplace and behavioural instructions leading to double binds. Results of a literature review are presented which provide evidence for the existence of a set of workplace interactions that are associated with reduced performance and quality. 7 No. 17 No. 50. The findings reveal that social stereotypes infiltrate the workplace and that there are latent aspects in the work environment that place women academic scientists at a disadvantage. 27 . in the case of a developing country. Due to the duality of race and gender. without an understanding of the social context in which the organization is placed. and earning power as managers in organizations. “Gender Inequality in the Work Environment at Institutes of Higher Learning in Science and Technology in India”. capacity. The article examines the rule-related aspects referred to as the ‘formal environment’. The literature on workplace social networks indicates that informal more than formal socialization systems are salient in advancing careers. and the ‘informal’ interaction in the work situation. These improvements may not reflect the career advancement of managerial African American women. K. Brian A. Human Resource Development Review December 2008 Vol. African American women contend with the convergence of race and gender in improving their organizational standing and career advancement opportunities. 51. 4 Analyses of the work environment in any professional organization in terms of western conceptual categories remain incomplete. Critical examination of the effect of the interaction of race and gender on informal networks of managerial African American women in organizations is needed. These disadvantages are a function of a structure of Indian society. Altman. a general ‘lack of critical mass’ of women scientists and a lack of ‘universalism’ in science. Work Employment & Society December 2003 Vol. Namrata Gupta. 4 Research suggests that women have progressed in equalizing their representation. African American women in managerial and executive positions may be forced into out-group status in terms of informal social networks. status. Combs.

52.. persistent and privileged character of men's sexuality in the UK insurance sales industry. 53. If employees are being sexually harassed in an organization and such behaviour is discovered. But they also must protect themselves. the younger officers could have had little or no experience working with the opposite sex. Managers have a legal responsibility and an ethical obligation to protect their employees from a hostile work environment. Drawing upon detailed qualitative and quantitative data. Work Employment & Society March 1996 Vol. Less attention has focused upon the qualitative dynamics of workplace sexual harassment. the paper reveals the pervasive. major forms. David C. International Journal Of Management. prior research suggested that the older officers’ were more reluctant to accept women working in law enforcement. 10 No. “Sexual Harassment: An Abuse Of Power”. December 2005 The findings of the study suggest that age does matter in regards to how male officers’ view their female counterparts. Presented to The University Of Texas At Arlington. Fred C. a legal definition. this particular study revealed that the younger officers were much more sceptical of a woman’s ability to excel in law enforcement. 2010. this paper explores the complex organisational interactions and interrelationships through which the vicious circles of sexual harassment can be reproduced. Specifically. While on the contrary. and ways manager’s can eliminate and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. “`It's Only D***!: The Sexual Harassment Of Women Managers In Insurance Sales”. negative effects on the organization.Sexual harassment can have a negative impact on an organization as well as on the victims themselves. “Gender Inequality In Law Enforcement And Males’ Attidues And Perceptions Toward Women Working In Law Enforcement”. Managers are strictly liable for sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lunenburg. women only compromise sixteen percent (16%) of sworn police officers which could result in the development of negative attitudes toward female officers due to the under-representation of female police officers. both the manager and the organization can be held liable for damages. Whereas. as well as their responses and coping strategies. we argue that sexual harassment in nontraditional work for women may be more extensive and aggressive than in traditional forms of female employment. However. Business. Margaret Collinson. Volume 13. Tracee Alexandria Davis. And Administration. 54. 28 . Number 1 This article examines the nature of sexual harassment. The literature proposes that maybe the older officers have had much more experience working with female officers who have proved to be a valuable asset to their team. 1 Most studies of sexual harassment in organizations have used quantitative methods to measure the incidence of cases. On the basis of these findings and those of several other related studies. the study has confirmed the literature in regards to the negative attitudes of male officers towards female officers. Also. Highlighting women managers' experiences of sexual harassment.

This is largely due to the different question wording and definitions of sexual harassment used in surveys. Estimates regarding its incidence vary widely. approach to developing effective sexual harassment policies and procedures. Sexual harassment and workplace bullying can be seen in terms of 'organisational violation'. the more likely it is that certain inappropriate behaviours are taken for granted. to sexual assault. This is where the culture of an organisation makes it possible for individual employees to be treated abusively or with disrespect. The findings from the study of the papers listed previously and further literature on the topic have been segregated into four different sub-topics in order to have clearer picture of what the researches have been able to conclude. It is argued that sexual harassment represents an abuse of power where members of one group of people. Power Abuse and Organisational Violation. others are quite under-researched. There are no definitive incidence surveys. that sexual harassment can represent an abuse of power and can take many forms. Both are explicitly linked to the power relations within an organisation. Sexual harassment takes many forms. preventative. i. The key thing is that the behaviour is unwanted by the recipient. but other individuals within the organisation. Relating Sexual Harassment with Bullying. It is clear however. They are as follows: 4. the different sample populations approached and response rates achieved. Sexual harassment 29 . i. from sexually explicit remarks and jokes. CONCLUSIONS FROM STUDY OF EXISTING LITERATURE A number of key points have emerged which show that although some aspects of harassment are well documented. This report has identified and reviewed the available literature on sexual harassment to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge. This will not only affect the person being harassed and the perpetrator of harassment. with sexual harassment sometimes seen as falling within the wider context of bullying. The Various Forms of its Existence and Its Incidence: There are strong links between the concepts of sexual harassment and bullying. rather than a reactive. and differing research methods used in the studies. organisations take a proactive.e. generally women.1. A number of key points have emerged which show that although some aspects of harassment are well documented. response driven. The evidence strongly suggests that to avoid this. to harassment over the telephone and via email.e.4. Harassment can have a serious impact on the individuals involved and the organisation where it occurs. and without clear baseline data it is not possible to determine whether sexual harassment in Indian workplaces is increasing or decreasing. leading to the creation of an 'incivility spiral'. Estimates regarding its incidence and how widespread a problem it is differ widely. may be systematically disempowered and at risk of abusive behaviour. where uncivil behaviour becomes routine and regarded as the norm. others are quite under researched. A clear example of this is that the true scale of sexual harassment in India is unknown. As the climate of disrespect within an organisation increases.

young. literature suggests that they are likely. This is because they define such acts in terms of seriousness. Behaviour is more likely to be seen as harassment when there is a large power difference between the harasser and person they are harassing. Typically. 4. and a laissez faire style where management fails to lead or intervene in workplace behaviour. E. women are more likely than men to label certain behaviours as sexual harassment. 4.g. Those who face sexual harassment do not necessarily fit a particular type'. hard-driving and with low levels of self-monitoring behaviour. single or divorced and with relatively low levels of education..  Evidence suggests that same sex sexual harassment tends to go beyond issues of organisational power. Effects and Coping Strategies at Personal and Organisational level: The literature has revealed that individuals have different perceptions of sexual harassment. There is limited research examining the relationship between sexual harassment and other individual characteristics:  It is often difficult to disentangle racial and sexual harassment and research suggests that ethnic minority women may be at greater risk of harassment than white women. Harassers of harassment are likely to be male. so organisational studies can produce widely differing results. who will be relatively powerless.2. they will be in a position of power in relation to the person they are harassing. 30 . This is potentially problematic for research which seeks to clarify the prevalence of the problem. and do not think their own experiences are serious enough..g. E. similarly nonmanual staff compared with manual staff. or when a new supervisor or manager is appointed.3. If employees feel that it is not being tackled then they may believe that such behaviour is tolerated and even condoned. where there are large power differentials between women and men. Experiences of Sexual Harassment: Perceptions. Women are sometimes reluctant to label their own experiences as sexual harassment.  Findings suggest that disabled employees are more likely to experience sexual harassment than employees without a disability. Society's norms and characteristics may also influence how likely it is for sexual harassment to occur within the workplace. Sexual harassment is more prevalent in certain work situations. which in turn can lead to tolerance of sexual harassment within the organisation. to be female. in jobs where there is an unequal sex ratio. and for the person experiencing such behaviour to report it. competitive. However. during periods of job insecurity. Characteristic Features of Sexual Harassment Occurrence: Organisational culture is the key to understanding how and why sexual harassment occurs in some organisations and not in others. Two types of leadership style are associated with harassment and bullying: an authoritarian style where there is limited consultation with more of a problem in some occupations or workplaces than others. though certainly not exclusively.

In addition. asking another person to intervene. Evidence from the studies suggests that the most effective methods of dealing with sexual harassment are confronting and negotiating with the harasser (E. There are two distinct approaches to this: a 'top-down' and a 'consultative' approach. Few studies have looked at the effectiveness of training but those that exist suggest that it is particularly effective for changing men's attitudes. although the most commonly used. Preventative actions include a range of initiatives. anger. asking them to stop. Training can be used to raise awareness and understanding of sexual harassment and to help equip individuals with the necessary skills to deal with it. a bottom-up approach is the most successful.4. absenteeism and. loss of self confidence and psychological damage. This should aim to develop a culture of respect and focus on the beliefs.   Responses to sexual harassment include ways in which complaints are made and dealt with within an organisation. There are also the costs of investigating complaints and of any compensation awarded to those who take a complaint to tribunal. damage to reputation and to business performance. 4. it can have an impact on employee turnover. threatening or disciplining them). The consultative approach is advocated by researchers. who emphasise the importance of involving multiple stakeholders.Sexual harassment can have a negative effect both in the short and long term on those who experience it. Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Harassment There are three basic types of intervention that can be implemented by organisations to prevent or deal with sexual harassment: preventative. It may also lead to workplace problems such as decreased performance and job satisfaction. If employees believe that sexual harassment is not being tackled in the organisation this may lead to decreased job satisfaction and poorer physical health. in some cases. or by advocacy seeking (that is reporting the behaviour. Observing sexual harassment can also have a detrimental impact on other employees and lead to negative feelings towards work plus psychosomatic problems. although this may prove unpopular in some situations. They may experience illness. The least effective methods of dealing with sexual harassment. Similarly. Organisations may suffer the damaging consequences of sexual harassment through low morale.  Policy formation is crucial. where staff and staff representatives are fully involved with management in developing and owning relevant policies and programmes. particularly that of female employees. and follow-up. are thought to be avoidance or denial. responding to sexual harassment.g.. including employee groups and trade unions. resignation. The investigation of complaints frequently causes serious divisions between staff. lost productivity. or seeking legal remedy). Linked to this is the importance of a strong zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. It can be very difficult to make a complaint. especially if the organisation does not 31 . humiliation. behaviour and norms within an organisation.

Follow-up interventions in the aftermath of a complaint of sexual harassment include rehabilitation of the person who has suffered sexual harassment.J.. It is vital that procedures are in place to prevent victimisation or a backlash against the person who complained of harassment. providing those who experience harassment with independent support and effective monitoring systems. the harasser and others involved. feel reassured that they will not be victimised and that the whole process will be handled reasonably quickly. F.) 32 .J. The following figure can summarize the findings: The Antecedants and Consequences Model to understand Sexual Harassment at Workplace: (Fitzgerald.. V. Drasgow. & Magley. Hulin. L.L. staff must have confidence that their complaints will be taken seriously and treated confidentially.. J.F. training for all employees. For a complaints procedure to be effective it must be clear and well-communicated. establishing effective policies and procedures. C. A number of organisations have published good practice guides covering sexual harassment.have clear policies and procedures in place. These include: changing the organisational culture to one where harassment is not tolerated. commitment and support from senior staff. Gelfand..

Which of the following instances according to you constitute sexual harassment? *You can select more than one option a. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: SURVEY The first stage of data collection involves creating a Questionnaire for understanding the current scenario of Sexual Harassment at workplaces. This survey is purely for the purpose of this project. Feeling like someone was frequently staring at parts of your body. None of the above 2. Please answer according to the experiences you have had the place(s) you have worked at.5. QUESTIONNAIRE Survey on Sexual Harassment at Workplace This survey has been designed as a method of data collection for my college Study Oriented Project on "Sexual Harassment at Work Place". awareness levels on sexual harassment. The survey had 91 respondents from different sectors and fields and were contacted personally and made to fill the survey online. Being repeatedly shown obscene sexual gestures. Having someone repeatedly stand very close to you or corner you in a way which made you feel uncomfortable e. place of work and about your co-workers. This was done in order to avoid them from taking permission from higher authorities. Are you aware of any company policies in your workplace on sexual harassment? * 33 . The questionnaire was created in order to understand the frequency of occurrence of harassment of women at workplace. Receiving career threats such as indications that you will be fired or withheld promotion if you did not comply with requests for a date of for sexual favours b.1. tongue or body gestures that made you feel uncomfortable or were offensive to you c. * Required Have you been sexually harassed at your work place? * Yes No Can't Say 1. such as hand. and their experiences at the workplace as a victim of harassment. This was the questionnaire mailed to them: 5. the specifics of your answers will not be disclosed to anyone at any point in time. The respondents filled the survey from their personal email addresses and their experiences and details have been kept anonymous so that there is no objection from their top management or human resource departments. Answer freely. getting more accurate and personal responses and to gather more information in lesser time. making you feel uncomfortable f. It is completely anonymous and does not ask for any details about your name.

Yes I am aware No I am not aware 3. Banking/Finance f. Service/Hospitality d. Do you know who you need to approach or make a report to regarding sexual harassment in your workplace? * Yes I know No I have no idea 4. Do you know of others who have experienced Sexual Harassment at the workplace? * Yes No 6. What does sector does your organization belong to? * a.1. Education e. If Yes. Software/IT/Electronics/Online c. Consultancy/Advertising and Marketing/PR g. Where in the hierarchy of the company were you when you were harassed? Trainee Admin. How many such people do you know? 1 or 2 Few Several 34 . Manufacturing/Mining b. Staff Worker/Labourer Manager Deptt Head/ Middle Manager Top Manager 6. Government Service Medicine Other: 5. h.

Events. Brush past repeatedly g. Obscene insulting sounds m. Where did the incident(s) of harassment occur? * a. Questions about personal love/sex life o. Intentional dirty jokes 35 . Business Trips etc. Sexually Assaulted b. Displaying Sexual Images i. How often have you experienced sexual harassment? Once Twice Several Ongoing 8. Touched/groped body part f. Stand Close/Lean Over e. Office Party.2 Which kinds of harassment did most of them suffer from? You can check more than one option Verbal Visual Physical 7. Sexual suggestions/invitations n. Forcibly Hugged c. Outside the workplace but at work related activities ( e. Jokes via email or SMS l.g. Client Dinners.Too Many 6. Forcible Kissed d. Exposure to private parts i. Displaying Sexual Images k.) Other: 9. In the office b. Identify which forms of sexual harassment you have encountered from the following list:Choose all the forms that you have been subjected to a. Obscene Sexual Gestures (Hand Gestures or Facial Expressions) h.

What was/is your work relationship with the harasser? a.p. Superior b. Career Threats (such as Termination or Withholding Promotion) r. Pestered for Dates s. Angry d. Resigned to the situation (Accepted as inevitable) h. Wish had someone to talk to i. Being addressed by Unwelcome/Offensive terms Other: 10. a. Humiliated/ Embarassed f. Affected performance at job k. Client/Customer Other: 36 . Specify any other feeling in the 'Other' box. Afraid c. Confused e. Colleague c. Disgusted /Sick b. Comments on physical appearance q. What emotions did you experience after you had been harassed by your co-worker? *You can check more than one option. If you have any personal experiences to share on how you were harassed. please share here: 11. Wish something could be done j. Subordinate d. Guilty g. Insecure/Afraid would lose job Other: 12.

4. Where did you report? Human Resource Department Employee Grievance Cell Supervisor of the harasser Top Management Other: 13.13. Were you aware if the procedure the complaint before you were harassed? Yes No 13. How soon was your complaint responded to? Within Days Within Weeks Within Months No Response 14.? Describe Briefly 37 . Have you ever reported being harassed to your employer? Yes No Did they respond to your complaint? Yes No Can't Say 13.5 Was there any follow up action/meeting/warning etc.

1 11. DATA COLLECTION: RESPONSES TO QUESTIONNAIRE Profile of the respondents: Organization Sector-wise: Sector Manufacturing/Mining Software/IT/Electronics/Online Service/Hospitality Education Banking/Finance Consultancy/Advertising and Marketing/PR Medicine Government Service Other(Wind Energy Solutions) Total No.0 13.0 29.2 100. of Respondents 11 11 0 27 30 12 91 38 Percentage 12.0 Manufacturing/Mining Software/IT/Electronics/Online 11% 11% 12% 16% 27% 6% 17% Education Banking/Finance Consultancy/Advertising and Marketing/PR Government Service Other(Wind Energy Solutions) Organisational Hierarchy-wise: Position Trainee Administrative Labourer/Worker Manager HOD/Middle Management Top Management Total No.0 16.1 12.0 11.0 .0 5.5 27.7 33.5 0.5 12.0 0.2. of Respondents 15 25 0 15 11 10 0 10 5 91 Percentage 16.5.5 100.1 0.

7 Low 10 11.3 Medium 27 29. of Respondents 47 44 91 Percentage 51.0 Respondents who were able to identify four or five instances of sexual harassment were assessed as having a high level of awareness.2 100. of Respondents 29 62 91 Percentage 31. The ability to identify two or three instances was assessed as a medium level of awareness.2 100.2 58. of Respondents 4 8 21 3 36 Percentage 39.3 8.5 100. of Respondents 36 50 5 91 No. of Respondents Percentage High 54 59.Awareness towards Sexual Harassment: Awareness of forms of harassment: Awareness No.9 5.6 54.8 68.0 Total 91 100.0 Percentage 11. of times fellows have been harassed 1 to 2 Few Several Too Many Total No.0 No Answer 0 0.0 39 .1 22. while one meant a low level and no Instance identified meant that they had no awareness at all.0 Harassment of Respondents’ friends/colleagues/acquaintances: Fellow(s) Harassed Yes No Can't Say Total No.0 No Awareness 0 0.0 Awareness on who to approach in order to report Sexual Harassment: Awareness Aware Not Aware Total No. Awareness of presence of company policies: Awareness Aware Not Aware Total No.8 48.3 100.

Most heard of type of Harassment amongst fellows: Type of Harassment No.1 12.0 Percentage 76. Total 70 40 . of Respondents Verbal Visual Physical Total Sexually Harassed Respondents No. of Respondents 5 16 40 9 70 Percentage 7.6 100.0 Number of times experienced Sexual Harassment 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Once Twice Several Ongoing Total No.9 100.0 Outside the workplace at parties.3 22. of Respondents 29 Percentage 41.9 57.1 100. work related 41 events/dinners etc. of Respondents Yes 70 No 20 Can't Say 1 Total 91 Frequency of Harassment: Frequency Once Twice Several Ongoing Total 16 12 8 36 Percentage 44.9 22.4 58.0 1.1 22.2 100.0 No. of Respondents Percentage Place of Occurrence: Place of Occurrence Inside the workplace No. of respondents harassed out of the total 91: Harassed No.4 33.

of Respondents 6 7 7 8 9 4 3 5 1 1 41 . of forms of Harassment 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 No. No.Forms of Sexual Harassment Experienced: No. of Respondents for each form of Harassment Being addressed by Unwelcome/Offensive terms Pestered for Dates Career Threats Comments on physical appearance Intentional dirty jokes Questions about personal love/sex life Sexual suggestions/invitations Obscene insulting sounds Jokes via email or SMS Staring at parts of body Displaying Sexual Images Exposure to private parts Obscene Sexual Gestures Brush past repeatedly Touched/groped body part Stand Close/Lean Over Forcible Kissed Forcibly Hugged Sexually Assaulted 29 20 5 21 20 18 11 10 8 25 6 4 8 18 20 27 6 7 6 The table below shows the number of people who experienced 10 or more forms of sexual harassment out of the respondents who experienced sexual harassment.

4 31.4 13.0 Number of Respondents Aware of Complaint Procedure before being harassed: Aware Yes No Total No.1 8.8 29 12.4 2.5 Relation of the respondents with the harasser(s): Relation with Harasser Superior Colleague Subordinate Client /Customer Total Seeking Redress Number of victims reporting to employer about being harassed: Reported Yes No Total No.9 77. of Respondents 36 22 2 10 70 Percentage 51.0 42 . of Respondents 16 54 70 Percentage 22.1 15.6 55.9 14.3 75.Emotions felt upon being harassed: Percentage of Respondents Feeling an Emotion Insecure/Afraid would lose job Affected performance at job Wish something could be done Wish had someone to talk to Resigned to it Guilty Humiliated/ Embarassed Confused Angry Afraid Disgusted /Sick 10 26.1 100.0 No.7 100.1 12.3 100.8 5 24. of Respondents 17 53 70 Percentage 24.

of Respondents Yes 7 No 10 Response time to complaint: Time Weeks Months No. of Respondents 6 1 43 . of Respondents 7 0 6 4 Whether there was a response to the complaint: Responded No.Department Reported to: Department HR Grievance Cell Supervisor of the harasser Top Management No.

1%) reported feeling guilty about the situation.9% of the respondents claimed to have had experienced some form of sexually harassment. DATA ANALYSIS Awareness of what comprises of sexual harassment was recorded high proving earlier observations from studies that most women understand sexual harassment and can identify its existence at the workplace.1% respondents who experienced some form of sexual harassment and answered this question reported feeling angry about the incident. 12.4% of the respondents who reported having been sexually harassed.8%) and confused (24. which made you feel uncomfortable” was ranked third highest. colleague.6. While some are perceived as more severe than others.” if they did not comply with requests for a date or any more serious forms of sexual favours. with one respondent indicating experiencing as many as all 19 forms listed in the survey. hostile. those respondents aware of their company policies registered a much higher level of awareness compared to those companies which were less interested. Feeling “that someone was frequently staring at parts of your body. Being “repeatedly addressed by terms that are unwelcome or Offensive” was most frequently experienced by 50. with 39%. A smaller percentage ( 8.1%). offensive or poisoned work environment. otherwise known as a ‘hostile working environment’. irrespective of whether they lodged formal complaints. 9. encountered adverse consequences in the workplace. 43% respondents indicated experiencing this form of physical sexual harassment. as well as emotional and psychological trauma. This includes ‘verbal. Many indicated they were afraid (26. sexual harassment may often escalate both in frequency and severity. A startling 76. 11.4% reported receiving “career threats such as termination.’ It is worrying that many respondents experienced multiple forms of sexual harassment. non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating. subordinate or client . While it is clear that emotions run high in such situations. It was found that most of the victims of sexual harassment. abusive.8% respondents who experienced sexual harassment felt it affected the way they did their job. This form of ‘quid pro quo’ harassment is considered ‘particularly reprehensible. The responses indicate that respondents have experienced a wide range of forms of sexual harassment. companies don’t have a definitive sexual harassment policy and employees reflect a relatively low awareness of the existence of the policy if there is one. Nonetheless. they all create a negative work atmosphere. Such negative impact ranged from their personal security being threatened to experiencing stress at work. 13. However.4% 44 . This indicates that when left unchecked.2% reported being sexually assaulted by their superior. withholding of promotion. The second highest reported incident was that of having someone “repeatedly stand very close to you/ lean over you/ corner you in a way which made you feel uncomfortable”. many indicated that they wish something could be done about it (29%) or that they had someone to talk to (15.6%) about the situation. since it represents a breach of trust and an abuse of power’ by those in a position to ‘give or take away employment benefit’. This also resulted in them being less productive and effective in their work. It was also observed that.a grim reminder of how severe sexual harassment in the workplace can get. 55.

45 . The response time to complaints was poor reflecting that there is a lack of a standardised or even average time frame in carrying out the complaint procedure.respondents were concerned that they would lose their job or not be promoted if they took action – a real concern in situations where no formal mechanisms for redress have been put in place. This has been found to common in Consultancy/Marketing jobs as well as hospitality industry. giving rise to serious implications on work. showing the intensity of emotions evoked from such an experience. The harassment was not only limited to being carried out by employees of the organisation but also extended to the clients and customers that the women interacted with for business purposes. There was a considerably large number harassed by co-workers at the same level of hierarchy. Many are not aware of the prevalence of a redressing system in their organisation and many don’t feel the need for it. This situation reveals that a substantial proportion of sexual harassment victims felt that they were working within an environment which was hostile and unsupportive. It was observed that complaints made to the HR department were responded to where as the supervisor to the harasser did not respond to them as required. As noted. When asked to describe their personal experiences. As discussed in earlier sections of the report. Action was taken only in very few cases due to the neglect by people at position of power. a common phenomenon observed in them was the use of internet and telecommunication. a number of factors were described to underlie this reluctance to complain. majority of the people were harassed by their superiors. Companies need to keep a check on office based social networking as well as online security and privacy protection of employees. Power Dynamics and Fear of Job-related Discrimination. it has brought to many women a constant fear of being harassed. With the increase of online social networking. Few cases had women being harassed by their subordinate usually done as a result of being intimidated by a woman with authority. This shows that even though technology has helped people connect. most respondents (53 out of 70) did not complain to supervisors or the management about their experiences of sexual harassment. A lot of women are being harassed over SMSes and emails.5% respondents also felt resigned to the situation. Lack of Awareness and Confidence in Complaint Mechanism. Some also believe that it is of no use and won’t solve their problems and hence never approach it. This discourages employees to report about harassment. This has also resulted in a new avenue for harassment where harassers also tend to take more liberties at times. As predicted. Respondents also mention accounts of being humiliated severely when their accounts were hacked by unknown co-workers and misused to cause socially embarrassing situations. productivity and organisational relations in the company. websites like Facebook and Orkut have added a new dimension to co-worker socialisation. 12. They are: Prevailing Attitude. Many respondents also reported experiencing a combination of these emotions.

the situation was investigated into by enquiring around the department that the victim worked in and observing the behaviour of the harasser. while the Supreme Court guidelines have opened up the discourse on sexual harassment at the workplace. 46 . Experiences of sexual harassment reflected. and even clients and customers. irrespective of their positions. it is clear that much remains to be done to address gender stereotyping and harassment in the working environment and to ensure that women have recourse to effective resolution of complaints. the reluctance of women to invoke the complaints mechanism and the ineffectiveness of existing complaints mechanisms in punishing the harasser. and sexual gestures and exhibitionism.. Other organisations should use their models in order to develop their own policies and systems. by and large. In the case of internet based harassment. who were perceived to have the power to influence women’s job security in the organisation. the number of harassed women who actually got a response to their report were very few. In short. Findings confirm the persistence of sexual harassment in the workplace. This shows that even though. Findings also suggest that attitudes to sexual harassment in the workplace mirror society’s norms about sexuality and masculinity more generally — that it is normal and harmless. there is a need to raise awareness of the Supreme Court guidelines and to build confidence among women workers that complaints made will be treated impartially and confidentially. The accused was given a warning and all his access to the internet and office network was revoked for 2 months. that awareness of the inappropriateness of sexual harassment and the rights of women workers is created and worked into the conduct rules for employees at all levels. Incidents of sexual harassment were most often perpetrated by people in authority. there are companies out there with well structured redressal system. Most of the published surveys conducted on women in India focus on the labour class of women. In one case.Response to the query in the survey regarding action taken with regard to their complaints was given by only a few respondents. power imbalances that make younger women and those in subordinate positions particularly vulnerable. It is important E. It was concluded that some forms of harassment had prevailed upon which he was given a strict warning and informed that in case of another such incidence his employment would be put on probation. More specifically. women in health care sector lower in the hierarchy or girls in academic institutions. the hacker was tracked by the network administration and a meeting between the harassed and harasser intervene by the Human Resources Department was called. disturbing numbers of women reported such harassment as unwanted touch. This study on the other hand has respondents working in a corporate setting and has thus helped get more perspective on their current scenario. Women in our study reported the experience of a range of behaviours — while leading forms of harassment were verbal or psychological. The survey results have shown similar results as other surveys conducted in a few Asian countries on a similar demographic. All of them revealed different types of actions.g.

appointed and trained as complaints officers with authority to institute disciplinary measures when necessary. Greater public advocacy is needed to raise awareness about the issue and bring it out of the shadows. will know what the individual's rights are – what is acceptable. and others' rights  Managers and all male and female employees must become aware of the problems inherent in harassment. and is well promoted.  Complaints and disciplinary procedure  There must be clear guidelines on reporting and disciplinary procedures in cases of harassment. Appropriate staff members can be selected. or speaking up against it. a clear definition of. This would help create a no-tolerance climate for sexual harassment at the workplace and encourage more employers to be socially responsible. also where the person being harassed can complain. whether it is providing support to recipients of sexual harassment. and policy on sexual harassment. Many practical steps can be taken. to counter harassment: A clear policy from management  Management must develop. Aware individuals can play a major role: by bringing the seriousness of harassment to the attention of management and of staff. and the person considering harassing someone. rather than having to redress it after damages have been suffered. by helping to formulate and implement appropriate policies. and in offering protection and support for victims. and must know how to handle these. and of own. It is in every employer's interest to be proactive and prevent the problem. but also at the state level. as part of an integrated programme. 47  . and to maintain a safe and conducive work environment for their employees. and these must be communicated to all staff members. The government can lead the way by implementing policies and programmes that define the problem and enforce clear guidelines on preventative and remedial measures. and with relevant staff organisations and unions. This should reduce considerably the likelihood of harassment. Concerned people and the press should also help to publicise the need for such policies. It is important to identify these actors not only at the company or organizational levels. If clear policy exists.7. with consultants and in-company specialists. MEASURES TO BE TAKEN Workplace sexual harassment is clearly a social challenge that warrants attention. every individual has a part to play in helping to create a no-tolerance environment for sexual harassment at the workplace. There are actors at different levels that can play a role in its prevention.  Awareness of the problem. Clearly the hidden costs of harassment are enormous. both the person being harassed. and by helping victims to deal with the consequences of harassment. In addition. and what not.

as was done by some companies in the study. Joint and consultative employer/trade union action in combating sexual harassment should take place in order to effectively prevent. the expatriate director only duplicated the policy for management for fear of disturbing the contentious situation resided by the vast majority of production operators. one company apparently did not receive instructions from its parent firm while in another. In large companies. Other supporting measures  Assertiveness training and development of a healthy self-esteem will help women to deal with harassers. On the other hand. Trade unions should also be urged to conduct their own education and awareness programmes among their members. must take initiative and get their companies to act against harassment if a programme is not yet in place. that ensures well-planned career paths for all – based on merit.   Although no policy can be expected to eliminate the problem. besides awareness. An effective employment equity programme. and could possibly also sensitise and train managers and supervisors in the implementation of the policy. while also ensuring that people overlooked in the past get a fair deal – will reduce the vulnerability of individuals to harassment by people who abuse their power and authority. A study showed that by each adopting a sexual harassment policy. particularly in the manufacturing sector. Equally importantly. counsellors can be appointed and trained to provide support and to give advice to staff who are sexually harassed. or to counsel harassers if required. A positive corporate culture. handle and eradicate sexual harassment. awareness of the problem and of ways to deal with it will help to reduce its extent dramatically. These may be the same people as the complaints officers. and will also reduce the need in some men to try to prove themselves by harassing colleagues. the pilot companies have generally shown their seriousness in combating sexual harassment in their workplace. These companies were given the term ‘Pilot companies’. The Gender Equality Project worked with multinational companies committed to gender equality. in which management sets a positive example and the rights and dignity of all staff are respected. will do much to create a healthy environment in which sexual harassment cannot flourish.A policy is effective only if. This type of commitment was also conditioned by the current economic downturn whereby productivity was a more important consideration. Women. it is properly understood and applied according to clear guidelines and measures. to test and refine the assessment methodology and make sure it reflects the practices that have proven successful to date in the corporate world. What is important is the commitment of the top leadership in ensuring that the policy is disseminated and understood by all the staff. Throughout 2010. the appropriate professionals must assist victims (and harassers) of past and present harassment to overcome the negative effects of that experience. together with personnel and employee assistance professionals. 48 .

Another important consideration is the lack of counselling facilities available to both the harassed and the harasser. E. Besides identifying specific sanctions against harassers. Individuals may try to stop the harassment by intervening on the victim's behalf in ways that may pose risks to everyone. The measures to protect the harassed against retaliation are also found wanting. the harasser is immediately charged if it is the second offence.g. E. he can be immediately fired. there is no clause ensuring the complainant that she would not lose her job – a fear of most potential complainants. In the case of some more stringent policies.It is also necessary for companies should adopt different complaint processes which are suitable to the organisational goals and culture. It is already obvious that the legal definition of work and workplaces has not kept up with current notions. including counselling and protection against retaliation for victims and witnesses. concrete and clear measures are not spelt out.. However. fair and just and that all parties are held accountable for their behaviour. victims may resort to external agencies like the police. it is clear that although there is a uniform and nationally accepted clear definition is stated to determine sexual harassment. if the harasser is from management. the law enforcement is not clearly defined. the human rights or labour rights department and the media in the hope of stopping the harassment thereby making public the complaints to the employer's detriment and embarrassment. An explicit statement. including physical violence. the complaint procedure should also provide for effective remedies.g. Many employers in India have little experience in dealing with sexual harassment complaints. Based on the above. The proposed bill in the parliament: “Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. While every company asserts that they would maintain confidentiality regarding sexual harassment reports and would protect the harassed. Legislation can either lag behind or set standards in society. one process can be such that five opportunities are given to the harasser before he is charged while in another company the officer in charge is to take up the case. The essence of legislation is its ability to compel employers to abide by a standard process in handling sexual harassment complaints. do not have effective policies or complaint procedures for addressing sexual harassment. allowing for a written apology if both parties are agreeable to reconcile. providing a clear definition of what is prohibited and making clear the employer's commitment to creating and maintaining a sexual harassment-free workplace (supported by training and education) would serve to acquaint everyone with the employer's sexual harassment policy. All complaints should be investigated. ensures that the procedures are transparent. and even fewer provide training or other information on sexual harassment to employees. It allows complaints to be handled in-house by management but at the same time.. 2010” as discussed earlier is meant to be a progressive legislation that not only redefines legal concepts to reflect the dynamism of society but also educate and set new standards of 49 . The chances of harassment occurring are reduced when everyone is aware of the rules. Effective procedures reduce the need for "self-help" measures. When harassment goes unchecked.

This way employers as well as employees are affected.conduct and understanding. So they suffer in silence and lose out on performance and productivity. Legislation alone however will not result in the eradication of sexual harassment at the workplace without a more comprehensive action plan. training and outreach programmes. Legislating on sexual harassment is only one of the steps. 50 . Many women still think that sexual harassment is the price that must be paid for mobility. albeit a crucial step towards ensuring that neither women nor men will have to run a battery of sexual abuse in return for the privilege of being allowed to work and earn a living. But it still has some flows that need to be amended till it can be finally passed as a law. There needs to other efforts like education.

These studies are extremely important as they help in understanding the current situation which is currently of need as its relatively undocumented. Most of the studies on Sexual Harassment including this one are conducted to define level of awareness. This will help build better policies. Further research should be carried out to examine whether increasing one’s sensitivity directly affects their sexually oriented work behaviour or weather the relationship between attitudes and behaviour is dodgy and inconclusive. Lastly. understand causes. Much work has already been done on studying and understanding sexual harassment at the workplace across the world. But apart from these. END NOTES AND FUTURE RESEARCH The two phases done in this study have helped in understanding the present situation on the topic in the Indian as well as global corporate world. It is imperative to understand the scale of this problem or the effect on those involved in order to ensure that policies are effectively updated in order to tackle this form of harassment. It can be quantitatively as well as qualitatively analysed if Sexual harassment is directly affecting the productivity of a unit in an organisation over time. This can be an effective way to find cases of harassment at the workplace as well as keep a check on them. 51 . But there is scope for further study especially those involving the extremely vast and varied Indian demographic. Sometimes even a good and well in place policy does not help an organization keep a check on Sexual harassment. Training programs to create awareness on Sexual Harassment have an immediate effect on the perception of the employees. in-house practices as well as legislations. use of technology for harassment is alarmingly rampant as of today. but studies need to identify if these effects stay over time. further work should be done to strengthen the current legal system for Sexual harassment by lawmakers with the help of Social Science literature and Behavioural studies.8. Two types of leadership style have been associated with harassment and bullying – an authoritarian and a laissez faire style. As many organisations tend to adopt one of these styles. Employee performance evaluation can also throw light upon fluctuations in productivity and performance which in turn can be linked to the employee being a victim. Studies need to broaden into understanding it from the side of co-workers as well as supervisors who may or may not be involved in the perpetration of harassment. review of some recent literature gave a refreshing insight into research that was being done on the sociological and psychological aspects of the problem. Conclusions can be drawn by addressing the study on a larger sample. The issue has till now been viewed primarily from the perspective if the victim. Thus. A cross-disciplinary approach could be taken to ascertain whether there are differences between industries and the public and private sectors Another two unexplored areas are: The Link between Sexual Harassment and Productivity and The Effect of Training on those who are most likely to harass other employees. In such cases research needs to be done in order to find out what factors are being looked over in policy making as well as organisational culture-building that can change the situation. observe reactions and consequences and find out the best practices to prevent it or to put it briefly the Antecedents and Consquences Model. examination of how and why certain leadership styles lead to an increase in sexual harassment would be useful.

citehr.“Sexual harassment in the workplace: experiences of women in the health sector”. ii. 1st Edition.wordpress. vii. biztantra Dreamtech Publishers Mary L. http://www. http://onlinelibrary. Sphinx Publishing Paramita Chaudhuri . http://www. xvii.crvawc. 1st Edition.php/csr/526-sexual-harassment-at-work-place http://data. Ricky W. Greenwood Publishing Group Websites & Online Journals: http://www.oxfordjournals. http://www.pdf http://www. iv.pdf http://indialawyers. social science. “Academic and workplace sexual harassment: a handbook of Griffin.sciencedirect. “Human Resource Managment” .elsevier. http://www.csrindia. http://ebooks. 52 .in/books http://www. xviii. 1st Edition. vi. BIBLIOGRAPHY Books: i.doc http://hrln.bits-pilani. xiv. Angelo S.plu. xvi. Boland.informaworld. 2nd Edition. xiii. “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”. Population Council 2006 Michele Antoinette Paludi. xi.oxfordjournals.pdf http://lsj. ii. management and legal perspectives”.pdf http://www.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful