Last Updated on 01/27/2023 by Sophia
What are the impacts of sexual harassment to an organization? Sexual harassment is a
common challenge experienced by many employees, and it refers to unwanted or unwelcome
sexual attention from a colleague worker that causes humiliation, distress, discomfort and
interferes with the employee’s job. The explanation of ethical integrity differs from one person to
another. Most companies usually undergo a challenge of ensuring that its workers act within the
chosen boundaries of our societal norms. This challenge has adverse impacts on the
organizations and can lead to loss of productivity also it has been associated with causing
turbulent, rapid and often strained developments in the relationship between workers. This paper
contains a comprehensive explanation of sexual harassment at the workplace.
A federal agency of US known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) was established to enforce the established acts of Title VII of the Civil Rights (Giraffe,
2011). The law prohibited the discrimination of employees by the employers by Nationality,
Religion, race, Face, or Gender. In spite of many companies using policies to enforce on equal
and fair treatment to all workers, most of the cases it is the persons within the organization
whose individual ethical principles do not align with the large organization.
Workers in the organization have equal rights, and they need to be treated equally
regardless of their sex. However, sexual harassment is a trending challenge that is experienced
by both genders at the workplace. People have a misunderstanding that it is only outright
touching which cause sexual harassment, but inappropriate conduct can take the form of non-
sexual as well as sexual act. Advances that are sexually charged whether spoken or non-verbal,
physical insult and visual sexual stimuli that are all institute of sexual harassment. Comments
and jokes on colleague clothing, non-verbal gestures and pictures can also be termed as
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One of the most common harassment is the Quid Pro Quo which is between employer
and employee (Brase, Miller, 2001). In this harassment, one party receives something for what
the other party is offering. In the underdeveloped countries where the economy is not in a good
position, and there is a high level of unemployment, the process of advancements in the
workplace is quite difficult. Some people with perverted character will at sometimes take
advantage of this situation and use the power of their positions to influence the subordinates.
Hostile Environment is the second type of sexual harassment. It involves creating a
hostile environment in the workplace that makes a person feel unease because of their sex. The
main leading factors that contribute to this type of sexual harassment include dirty jokes,
constantly requesting dates, leering and showing pornographic pictures as found by the courts.
This kind of harassment is indirect and it is hard to know who is being affected. For the
organization to avoid and reduce this harassment, it should set policies to regulate dressing code,
the relationship between workers and provide a general conducive environment that does not
make the employee uncomfortable.
The main cause of sexual harassment includes socialization. It has a significant influence
on behavior and involves the way women and men were brought up to see and value themselves
and others. Culture plays a big part to determine the extent of socialization. Also, Culture installs
skills that help an individual to relate well with other people from different gender, and if it
discriminates on gender, this can cause harassment (Gilligan, 1982). Power games are another
source of sexual harassment where people today are ready to offer anything to get power and
wealth in return. The third cause of sexual harassment is the moral values, culture difference and
divorce. The society in which an individual is brought up from, plays a significant role installing
the moral values. Some cultures ignore some moral values and others even underrate the female
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gender, and this may cause harassment to women. Also, the prevalence of marital divorce and
stress in the community makes some individuals come to work with emotional distress that can
influence them to sexual harassment (Mendez, Snyder, Scherer, Fisher, 2012). Some culture
indifferences may also contribute to harassment. Personal character and dressing cord is also a
factor that contributes an increase in this cases of harassment. Some ladies dress very tight and
short dress while at the workplace and this causes sexual harassment to men. On top of that, they
entertain unprofessional relationships that lands them to being harassed by males.
Another leading cause of sexual harassment is lack of clear company policies. Many
companies do not have clear rules and policies relating to this issue. There are no set procedures
or disciplinary on this challenging problem. The companies do not take this matter with the
required seriousness according to the research conducted by MBL despite them being mandated
of ensuring employee safety. According to the psychological theory of women, Females are
more susceptible to harassment in the workplace due to the traditional mindset of the ladies
being more subservient than the males.
Men are used to making comments to their female colleagues without realizing the
undertone of their remarks. Out of 12,696 sexual harassment complainants that were received by
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 84% were women. This report displayed that
women file many sexual harassment cases than males. However, men also undergo sexual
harassment and military is one of the spotted areas. Approximately 15% of the men have
experienced a sexual harassing experience at workplace according to merit Production board,
and 35% of the men in the defense forces experience some sexual harassment per year (U.S.
Merit Systems Protection Board). Although this report shows that the cases of sexual harassment
of men are lower compared to women, it is also a problem to be addressed.
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Sexual harassment may lead to many consequences to both the organization and the
employees at a personal level. Healthcare professionals must consider and adopt this new
stressor along with the regular problems during deployments (Settles, Buchanan, Colar, 2012).
Harassment was noted to have an adverse impact on the well-being and mental health of the
militaries who were in Iraq and Afghanistan (Street, Kimerling, Bell ,Pavao, 2011). Another
consequence is that it reduces the overall productivity of the organization due to reduced
employee morale and motivation. Besides that, the company may lose valuable workers as many
women take it hard to withstand the challenge, and instead, they resign. The company must
ensure that the working environment of the employees is conducive and can incur legal charges
if the problem is ignored.
Although sexual harassment has many hidden costs that are enormous, it calls for every
employer to be proactive and play their roles to prevent the problem instead of waiting for it to
happen so that they can act. Creating awareness to the individuals may be of great importance in
minimizing the cases (Ramakrishnan, 2011). The management needs to improve on how it
relates to its workers to gain a proactive step of reducing the harassment. Harassment is a
challenge facing many companies today; the following remedies can be applied to help reduce
the complaints rate:
A clear management policy must be developed with the consultants of the company
specialists, relevant unions, and staff of the organization. The policy should highlight the dos and
don’ts of the organization on the issue relating to the sexual harassment. Press and the
Concerned people should also help to publicize the importance of such policies and procedures.
Secondly, the organization should create awareness of the problem. All workers and managers in
the companies should be aware of this challenge and must have skills in handling the problem. A
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clear policy that is provided by the management should be supported and promoted. The
organization should ensure that workers in the company know their right and the right of others.
It will reduce the likelihood of occurrence of the problem. Also, the organization should set
complainants and disciplinary procedures that will include clear guidelines for reporting and
correcting harassment issues. Some staffs may be appointed and trained as complainant officers
who will be given authority to carry out disciplinary measures when necessary (Noddings,2010).
The organization can also go a step further and select professional counselors who can provide
guidance and counseling to workers facing the challenge. The organization can set up a positive
corporate culture by displaying a good example for other employees to emulate. An effective
equity program for employment is also an alternative remedy for fighting this problem. There
should be a well-planned path of career for all based on the matters of merit. The company
should also ensure that all employees are equal irrespective of their status or education level.
In conclusion, sexual harassment is a major problem facing both genders. Although the
reported cases of females are higher as compared to males, it calls for a collective initiative to
handle the challenge. Personal character and behavior play a big part in avoiding and preventing
this problem. Policies and guidelines can significantly contribute to reducing this problem in
organizations. However, the management should be in the frontline by setting up an example for
others to follow and being proactive. It should not wait for issues to arise so that it can correct
them rather it should identify and correct them before they occur.
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