Many people face major challenges and pressures as they try to make it in the fast-paced world of journalism. When you are trying to make your mark in this field, the last thing you need is to be treated inappropriately by those around you. Sadly though, many women in journalism end up facing sexual harassment on the job.
How Common Is It for Female Journalists to Experience Harassment?
A 2013 study estimated that nearly two-thirds of women in journalism have been subjected to harassment, such as sexual harassment, or abuse at work.
There are many forms sexual harassment could take in journalism workplaces. This includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances and offensive sexual or sex-based comments. Harassment may come from other employees or people you interview as part of your job.
As a recent PRI article noted, it also might be very common for female journalists who have been harassed to feel like they have to stay silent about it.
Fears that could make a female journalist hesitant to report harassment include fears of:
- Derailing their career
- Being seen as "rocking the boat" as they are trying to fit in
- Being labeled as "difficult"
- Facing retaliation from bosses or colleagues
You should not have to suffer silently when it comes to such harassment. Also, fostering an environment in which workers feel like they are able to report wrongful conduct committed against them at work can play an important role in curtailing such conduct.
Female Journalists Have Legal Rights When It Comes to Sexual Harassment
It is important to know that sexual harassment is not something you just have to deal with. In addition to being harmful, it is also against the law. As the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes, sexual harassment that leads to an offensive or hostile workplace environment is prohibited by federal law. Also, there are laws prohibiting retaliation against workers who report sexual harassment.
Understanding your rights is very important when facing sexual harassment. Learn about your options.