In today’s workplace, fostering a safe and respectful environment is important for the well-being and productivity of employees.
Sexual harassment is a serious issue that can take on many forms, some of which may be subtle and easy to overlook.
1. Invasive body language
Non-verbal cues can be indicative of sexual harassment. Invasive body language, like unwanted touching, invading personal space or leering, can make an individual feel vulnerable and objectified.
2. Cyber harassment
Cyber harassment has become increasingly common. Sending explicit emails, sharing inappropriate content or making sexual advances through messaging platforms can be subtle forms of sexual harassment.
3. Gender-based microaggressions
Subtle gender-based microaggressions may not always be explicitly sexual but can still contribute to a hostile work environment. These include making derogatory comments based on gender stereotypes, belittling or undermining a colleague’s abilities due to their gender, or treating one gender unfairly in promotions or opportunities.
4. Isolation and ostracization
Sexual harassment can lead to the isolation of the victim. Colleagues may avoid interacting with the targeted individual, making them feel unwelcome or excluded.
5. Inappropriate comments and jokes
One of the most subtle signs of sexual harassment is the use of inappropriate comments and jokes. These remarks may seem harmless on the surface, but they can create an uncomfortable atmosphere for the targeted individual. Such comments often include lewd jokes or comments about a colleague’s appearance or personal life.
Sexual harassment continues to rise in the workplace, making up almost 30% of all workplace harassment charges. By fostering an atmosphere of respect and open communication, workplaces can empower victims to come forward and ensure that everyone can work without fear of harassment or discrimination.