Workplace Sexual Harassment: Me Too or Not Us?

Sexual harassment cuts across all professional industries, as validated by the recent "me too" campaign. Incidents can be found in politics, law, education, corporate and blue-collar America, and Hollywood. One need only search Google for "sexual harassment cases" to find the articles: there are cases against prominent law firms, financial institutions, tech companies and even a yoga instructor. 

Companies that take a "not us" attitude are setting themselves up for potential disaster. It is unlikely that Uber, Google, Chadbourne & Parke, Kleiner Perkins (where Ellen Pao worked) and the countless organizations that face public gender harassment and discrimination scandals ever thought it could happen to them. But it did. 

Although claims of sexual harassment prevail in nearly every industry, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, "only about 30 percent of women who experience harassment ever complain internally." Even fewer are likely to file a charge with the EEOC, although companies can still be aware that inappropriate behavior is occurring. 

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