70+ Sexual Harassment at Workplace Statistics [2024]

May 3, 2024 0 Comments

How widespread is sexual harassment in workplaces? Who are the harassers? 

Do victims report these incidents to their organization? 

If yes, does their career get affected, or does everything remain the same? How do organizations react to such complaints? 

Have these questions ever popped up in your head? Nodding your head? Here’s the answer – 

54% of women and 43% of men have gone through sexual harassment at their office. But more than 50% chose to keep this thing to themselves

Wondering why? Well, keep reading this post on sexual harassment workplace statistics to get the answer – 

Sexual Harassment at Work Statistics: Editor’s Pick 

  1. 54% of women and 43% of men face workplace harassment.
  2. Shockingly, in certain cases, up to 81% of women report experiencing sexual harassment.
  3. 63% of women and 79% of men chose not to file a complaint against sexual harassment.
  4. People with intellectual disability are 7x more likely to get harassed in the workplace.
  5. Office sexual harassment cost businesses around $2.6 billion in lost productivity and $0.9 billion in expenses.
  6. 46% of women and 64% of men reported changing jobs due to workplace sexual harassment.
  7. 95% of harassers go unpunished.
  8. 68% of LGBT workers have experienced sexual harassment at work.
  9. Sexual harassment is blind to education. 
  10. 54% of victims didn’t confront the harasser.
  11. Women(17%) are more likely to feel harassed than men (7%).
  12. 13% of women are sexually assaulted by women and 57% of them are harassed by men.
  13. Incidents reported by males are 26% more likely to be investigated.

LGBT Sexual Harassment at the Workplace

68% of LGBT people have gone through sexual harassment. 12% even reported that they were raped.

68% of LGBT people have gone through sexual harassment

47% have heard sexual comments

Around two-thirds of victims didn’t report it to their employees. 

The reasons behind this are – 

  1. 25% didn’t do so because of fear of losing their job. 
  2. 57% hadn’t reported it because it would hurt their relationships at work.
  3. 44% didn’t report because of fear of negatively impacting their career.
  4. 1 in 4 didn’t do so because it would have divulged their sexual identity.

Talking about LGBT women, they are – 

  1. More likely to report unwanted touching. 35% of women do so compared to 16% of men. 
  2. 2x more likely to report sexual assault (21% of women in comparison to 12% of men). 
  3. 2x more likely to face serious sexual assault or rape. (12% women compared to 7% men)

Sexual Harassment Across Various Industries

Sexual harassment cases across different industries varies. Even the percentage of reported cases between men and women are also different. Women are more likely to report such incidents.

men sexual harassment reports by industry
women sexual harassment reports by industry

Sexual Harassment in the Healthcare Industry

60% of nursing staff and students had experienced sexual harassment at work, while 39% had witnessed a colleague being harassed

60% of nursing staff and students had experienced sexual harassment at work

But even after this, only 29% of women and 17% of men reported this incident.

56% of harassment was verbal, 37% had experienced physical harassment, 29% had experienced visual harassment, and 6% had been subjected to cyber harassment.

The most common perpetrators in this industry were – 

PerpetratorsPercentage of victims who reported being harassed by
Medical colleagues26% 
Nursing colleagues24%
Patient’s family or friends19%

Sexual Harassment Incidents Against Women by Location

Workers in rural places are more than 40% more likely to encounter sexual harassment compared to others. [15] [8] 

AreaPercentage encountering sexual harassment

Sexual Harassment at Workplace by Age Group

Incidents of sexual assault and harassment are more prevalent among younger women

17% of employees of the 18-34 age group report such incidents. [5] 

workplace sexual harassment by age group

Which Situations Are Associated With Higher Rates of Sexual Harassment? 

Women relying on tips as their primary income source are twice as likely to face sexual harassment, including from customers. 

Around 76% of tipped workers face sexual harassment.

Moreover, many victims report that managers were aware of the harassment but either did nothing to stop it or were involved in the inappropriate behaviour themselves. 

Other environments are – 

  1. Isolated spaces. Workers like janitors, domestic helpers, agricultural employees, hotel workers and basically everyone who works in a secluded space report higher rates of assault and sexual harassment. 
  2. Male-dominated industries
  3. Those without legal immigration status or holding temporary work visas
  4. Work in settings with significant power imbalances.

How Are Employees Harassed at Work? 

I know this question might seem obvious to you because many people think that only physical touches are included in sexual harassment. 

But it’s not like that—any type of sexual advancement, whether verbal or physical, is counted. 

So now, let’s discuss how employees are harassed – 

  1. Over 80% of employees had experienced workplace sexual harassment via verbal comments.
  2. About 44% had experienced unwanted physical touch.
  3. Approximately 25% had been sent sexually obscene emails or text messages

Who is Responsible for Sexual Harassment at Work? 

Nearly 30% of employees reported that more than one person sexually harassed them.

28% specifically mention harassment by their boss

who is responsible for sexual harassment at work

How Does Sexual Harassment Affect Employees? 

Half of women and 60% of men who have experienced sexual harassment at their workplace agree that it hurt their careers. [8] 

However, the repercussions extend far beyond career.

Employees who undergo such harassment are more likely to report increased financial stress, diminished job satisfaction, and an increased likelihood of resigning

31% even report feeling anxious and depressed. Sometimes, they leave their houses, abandon hobbies and stop interacting with their community.

However, the percentage of employees experiencing these ramifications varies. You can see that in the graph – 

affect of seexual harassment on victims

How Were Victims Treated When They Filed Sexual Harassment Complaints? 

73% were treated with respect.

Treated with dignityThe percentage of people who feel so
Strongly agree32%
Strongly disagree7%

52% felt that communication with them during the investigation was good.

Communication was goodThe percentage of victims who feel so
Strongly agree24%
Strongly disagree7%

Why Do Employees Chose Not to Report Sexual Harassment? 

There are many reasons behind employees choosing not to report sexual harassment incidents. A rundown of those reasons are – 

40% didn’t want to be labelled a troublemaker.

18% were afraid to lose their job.

22% reported that it was their word against the harasser.

Others didn’t believe in HR. 80% of those employees who filed a sexual harassment claim said that their situation did not change. For 16%, the situation worsened.

This makes 39% of employees feel their issues will not be addressed.

46% fear potential retaliation.

Sometimes, the owners and higher authority people do the same thing, making victims assume it is normal.

Do Employees Feel Heard When They Report Sexual Harassment? 

27% of those who reported sexual harassment said they didn’t know if it was ever investigated.

53% of men and only 30% of women agreed that their employer handled the incident properly.

Of those who reported, 76% said the issue was resolved, 26.29% said the person stopped the harassment, and 21% said the person was fired.

Do Harassers At the Workplace Get Punished? 

Well, there is no one-word answer for this. In some cases, they get punished; in others, the victim gets punished – of course, not directly. 

Then how? This is the answer – 

55% of sexual harassment victims face retaliation after speaking up.

Talking about harasser – 

95% go unpunished.

Other Captivating Sexual Harassment Stats

  1. 74% of adults believe that sexual harassment at their workplace is taken seriously.
  2. 77% of men, regardless of their profession, express a willingness to speak out if they witness any mistreatment.
  3. 32% of employees were unaware that jokes could be considered sexual harassment.
  4. One-third of female physicians have reported that they have been sexually harassed in the workplace. 
  5. 41% of female founders in the tech industry worldwide experience sexual harassment in the workplace.
  6. Within the legal industry, 41% of men admitted witnessing inappropriate behavior.
  7. In the Accommodation and Food Services sector, only 14% of harassment charges are reported.
  8. Only 1% of sexually harassed confront their perpetrators.
  9. About one in three women younger than 35 years have been sexually harassed at work. About one in 10 had been sexually harassed by a female worker.

How Can Sexual harassment be Prevented in the Workplace?

According to EEOC, as an employer, you can do some of the following things to prevent harassment in the workplace –

Check for factors that contribute to harassment through assessments and surveys.

Make strong Anti-harassment rules. 

Regularly tell employees about these rules and provide easy ways to report incidents.

Punish harassers quickly and fairly.

Is it Convenient for People to Report Sexual Harassment at Their Offices? 

Only 25% of women felt they could easily report the incidents to their employers, whereas 41% of men felt the same. 

How Many Corporate Offices Have a Policy Regarding Sexual Harassment? 

98% of businesses have a corporate sexual harassment policy.

To Whom Do Employees Complain About Being Harassed? 

67% go to the managers, 6% report via hotlines and 37% seek out HR’s help.

Who is More Likely to Report Sexual Harassment? 

Women are more likely to report sexual harassment cases in every industry. 

For example, in the construction industry, they are 27.1 times more likely to report, and in utilities and transportation, they are around ten times more likely to file cases.

Last Words…

The numbers speak out loud – More than half of the women, nearly half of men and 68% of the LGBT community have gone through harassment at work. But most stay silent.

Why? Because only 25% felt that they could report easily, and 95% of harassers faced no consequences. 

Shockingly, all this not only impacts the mental and physical well-being of individuals but also costs businesses $2.6 billion. 

So, there is a dire need to stop all this; otherwise, the cost to businesses and individuals can rise. 


  1. 54 Percent of Women Report Workplace Harassment. How is Your Company Responding? 
  2. A New Survey Finds 81% of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment
  3. Half of Women sexually harassed at work, says BBC survey
  4. Guide to Workplace Sexual Harassment [Infographic]  
  5. New CareerBuilder Survey Finds 72 Percent of Workers Who Experience Sexual Harassment at Work Do Not Report it
  6. The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About
  7. The economic costs of sexual harassment in the workplace
  8. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 2018 
  9. Unwanted sexual advances not just a Hollywood, Weinstein story, poll finds
  10. Sexual Harassment of LGBT people in the workplace 
  11. 4 Shocking Statistics about Workplace Sexual Harassment
  12. The Shocking Data Behind Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Workplace
  13. Employee Experience Survey Findings
  14. Exclusive: Survey reveals majority of nurses have experienced sexual harassment 
  15. 17 Distressing Sexual Harassment Statistics [2023]: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  16. Gender Matters – Women Disproportionately Report Sexual Harassment in Male-Dominated Industries  
  17. 26 Shocking Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Statistics
  18. Workers Report Behavior But Fear Retaliation and Doubt It Will be Investigated
  19. 4 Reasons Women Don’t Report Sexual Harassmen
  20. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
  21. LinkedIn – Bernadette Karanja’s Post
  22. 6 Effective Strategies to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  23. Sexual Violence and the Workplace
  24. 70+ Sexual Harassment jn the Workplace Statistics
  25. Sexual Harassment and Assault at Work: Understanding the Costs