Data from research agency Eurofound has revealed women in the EU are 3.6 times more likely than men to suffer from unwanted sexual attention in the workplace.
Further, the likelihood of a young woman (18–34 years) reporting unwanted sexual attention was three times higher than men of the same age, and 10 times higher than the oldest group of men (50+ years).
This problem is even more acute for frontline workers, according to the latest data.
Healthcare workers reported up to three times higher levels of unwanted sexual attention than the EU average.
The researchers put this concerning figure in perspective by comparing it to just 0.3% of information and communication professionals reporting unwanted sexual attention.
Overall, women and frontline workers were most exposed to the risks of adverse social behaviour at work, such as burnout, exhaustion, anxiety and depression. Adverse social behaviour can refer to instances of bullying, harassment, violence, verbal abuse or threats, and unwanted sexual attention.
Both healthcare and protective services workers (including fire-fighters, police officers, prison and security guards) reported 2–3 times higher levels of bullying, harassment and violence than the EU average.
A variety of frontline workers also reported verbal abuse or threats, some as high as 2.5 times the EU average.
The analysis from Eurofound emphasised that adverse social behaviour at work poses a significant risk to workers’ health and well-being.
It can have a long-term impact on individuals, with the effects potentially lasting for years after the initial incident, and may also affect their families, co-workers, employers and wider social circles in general.
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