Okay, so, women are far more likely than men to quit their jobs, transfer or lose a job because of harassment. And women are still 84% of the victims. What does this mean? It means that this is not inconsequential for all of the other factors that relate to female poverty: more time spent out of work, more time spent looking for a job, the unease of having to explain what happened in your last job, the decreased likelihood of promotion to higher-paying positions, etc. It also costs employers a bunch of money. From the ERA site:
“The costs are borne not only by the victims of harassment; they create financial havoc for employers as well. Sexual harassment costs a typical Fortune 500 company $6.7 million per year in absenteeism, low productivity and employee turnover. That does not include additional costs for litigation expenses, executive time and tarnished public image should a case wind up in court.”
The federal government loses cash over this too. Taxpayer cash. Our cash.
Sexual harassment cost
the federal government $327 million from 1992-1994:
o Job turnover — $24.7 million
o Sick leave — $14.9 million
o Individual productivity —
o Workgroup productivity —
o Total — $327.1 million
Full report here:
There are other sucky things that happen because of sexual harassment, such as:
“A Cleveland State Law Review Article entitled “The Present State of Sexual Harassment Law: Perpetuating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Sexually Harassed Women” reported that 90% to 95% of sexually harassed women suffer from some debilitating stress reaction, including anxiety, depression, headaches, sleep disorders, weight loss or gain, nausea, lowered self-esteem and sexual dysfunction. They experience job-related costs as well: from job loss, decreased morale, decreased job satisfaction to irreparable damage to interpersonal relationships at work.”
If you need money to survive (most of us do) and you need to work to make money (most of us do), then sexual harassment will be a significant impediment to staying alive. And what about sexual harassment that starts before one gets to work? What if you’re a student? Imagine if female students were 9 times more likely than male students to quit school, 5 times more likely to transfer schools, and 3 times more likely to get kicked out of school because of harassment? Luckily, they’re not, but the statistics are still chilling. A new report out this month by the American Association of University Women documents this phenomenon, which affects 56% of girls and 40% of boys.