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Women in the auto industry hesitant to report sexual harassment

Women making their living in a male-dominated industry typically face a higher risk of experiencing sexual harassment than they would otherwise. Women in the automotive industry are often susceptible to this type of treatment, and when they are victims of it, they are often hesitant to report it.

According to Automotive News, many women in the industry who experience sexual harassment take the advice often given in employee handbooks and contact their human resources department to make a report about the behavior. Unfortunately, though, many others hesitate to do so, either because they fear no one will believe them or they fear facing repercussions for speaking out.

Troubling statistics

In a recent survey involving reports of sexual harassment filed by women in the automotive industry, about a quarter of all women said they experienced sexual harassment in their places of employment, but they never reported it to human resources. Another 18%, meanwhile, said that they did, in fact, report the behavior, but that doing so did not necessarily help their situations.

On the contrary, about 30% of all women in the auto industry who reported instances of on-the-job sexual harassment to their human resources departments said they were highly dissatisfied with the response to their reports. Comparatively, only about 6% of women in the industry who reported sexual harassment said they were extremely satisfied with what happened in the aftermath.

Harassment common in male, youth-dominated industries

While the high percentage of men in the automotive industry makes women who work in it particularly susceptible to sexual harassment, the fact that there are notable power disparities in many automotive environments can also make them hotbeds for such activity. Work environments where many of the employees are young also tend to see higher rates of sexual harassment than others.

Today’s human resource professionals have an obligation to take all allegations of sexual harassment seriously, but regrettably, not all of them do.

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