The research asked respondents who had experienced sexual harassment at work to describe who had carried out the most recent incident.
For the majority of respondents, (70 per cent) the most recent harasser was a colleague.
Respondents were fairly evenly split in terms of how closely they worked with the person who harassed them; 26 per cent reporting the most recent harasser was a colleague they worked closely with and 28 per cent reporting being harassed by a colleague they did not work closely with.
Around one in eight people (12 per cent) had been harassed by their direct manager or another manager.
The manager would make inappropriate comments, touch my breasts, bottom and stroke my clothing in my genital area… He targeted people he viewed as being weak so the disabled, long-term unemployed and BME people.
I was with a colleague who was asking about my same-sex partner (and husband) who is 16 years older than me. My colleague felt it appropriate to ask questions like “how does that work then?” They also asked me if I use any of the apps such as Grindr and if I have ever met anyone from them and done anything. It made me feel very uncomfortable.
One in five (20 per cent) respondents who had experienced sexual harassment told us their most recent harasser was a third party, such as a customer, client or patient, supplier or contractor.
I heard a supplier contractor making suggestive comments about gays wanting sex all the time and that ‘they’ would do it with anyone if given the chance.
“I work in a pub. A few regulars seem to be fascinated by the intimate details of my sex life, often asking questions about it. Once had a customer, who I was asking to leave, call me a faggot and threaten to sodomise me with a pool cue.” 19- to 25-year-old, gay, man, The Cost of Being Out at Work survey
Where the harassment is perpetrated by a client or customer, the person experiencing the harassment may feel it is even harder to act and that they have less protection from their employer. 22
We asked respondents who had experienced sexual harassment at work where the most recent incident had happened.
The majority of respondents said they had been sexually harassed on work premises
(63 per cent). However, around one in ten (11 per cent) reported being harassed at a work-related social event, such as a Christmas or client party.
Around one in twelve (eight per cent) reported the harassment took place at another location for work reasons, for example at a conference.
“A male colleague attempted to grope and kiss me when drunk at a work party – he did not and does not know I am gay.” 26- to 36-year-old, lesbian, gender – other, The Cost of Being Out at Work survey
One in twenty LGBT workers reported being sexually harassed on a work visit, for example in a patient or client’s place of work or home. The same proportion reported the harassment was online, for example by email or on social media.
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