SEXUAL harassment remains widespread in Australian workplaces and progress in tackling the issue has stalled, the human rights commission says.
Just over one in five people aged 15 or over have suffered sexual harassment at work since 2008, according to results from the latest quadrennial Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) sexual harassment survey.
That’s a slight rise compared with the last survey while awareness about what constitutes sexual harassment has fallen.
“The survey shows, once again, that sexual harassment is widespread in Australian workplaces,” AHRC sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said.
“One of the most concerning findings of the 2012 national survey is that progress in addressing workplace sexual harassment has stalled in this country.”
The 2012 survey, involving telephone interviews with 2000 Australians, showed a quarter of women have been sexually harassed at work – with 90 per cent saying it was men that harassed them.
Sixteen per cent of men said they had been sexually harassed.
Co-workers were identified as the perpetrators of sexual harassment in just over 50 per cent of cases, followed by bosses or employers in about 10 per cent of cases.
Instances of sexual harassment were more prevalent among professional or office-bound workers.
Ms Broderick urged governments, unions and employers to take further action to help reduce the number of cases.
“Eradicating sexual harassment from our workplaces will require leadership and a genuine commitment from everyone,” she said. – AAP