Sexual Harassment

Younger generations are very concerned about workplace harassment

Gen Z and millennials are generally dissatisfied with their employers’ harassment prevention and response efforts.
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New research suggests that a significant portion of employees, particularly younger ones, have experienced workplace harassment.

According to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte, 61% of Gen Z and 49% of millennials have experienced harassment or microaggressions in the past year. Around 80% of those said they reported it, with around a third saying their concerns were not handled well.

Women, nonbinary, and LGBT+ individuals were less likely to report harassment to their company and less likely to feel like it responded well, according to Deloitte’s report and backed up by a claim backed up by MIT lecturer Donald Sull, who also runs a consulting firm called CultureX.

A global survey by Gallup earlier this year found that 23% of all workers have experienced harassment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released new guidance aimed at addressing or preventing workplace harassment. The recommendations include distributing a company-wide policy, anonymous reporting platforms, and rewarding managers who take action on harassment.

“You cannot have senior leaders who say this is important but then do exactly the opposite,” Stephen Paskoff, the CEO of Employment Learning Innovations and a former EEOC investigator, told Fortune. “It sends a message that if you’re at a certain level, [policies] don’t apply.”

Research from Revelio Labs in early 2022 found that toxic culture is the top driver of attrition.

“Employees can respond to a toxic workforce through exit (disengaging from their work or quitting the organization), voice (lodging complaints with management or posting negative reviews of their employer), or loyalty (sticking with the employer despite the toxicity),” Sull wrote for The MIT Sloan Management Review. “Employers that have ignored feedback about toxic behavior—whether widespread or in small pockets—should not be surprised when employees’ loyalty wears thin and they head for the exits.”

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.