Jump to Share article Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Email Share link via email Jump to heading Understanding the new data on Workplace Sexual Harassment – what we learned from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Time for Respect 2022 Released in December 2022, Time for Respect outlines the findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s latest survey on the prevalence, nature, and reporting of sexual harassment in Australia, with a focus on workplaces. This is the fifth survey on workplace sexual harassment undertaken by the Australian Human Rights Commission since 2003, and was conducted with over 10,000 people, using a sample that is representative of the Australian population in terms of gender, age, and geographic location. Using data gathered as part of the previous 2018 survey, the latest Time for Respect report measures the extent to which workers are continuing to be targeted by sexual harassment in their workplaces, and the impact of that sexual harassment. Importantly, for the first time, the 2022 survey also asked about workers’ views on the actions taken by their employer to address workplace sexual harassment. The survey revealed that, overall, the prevalence, nature, and reporting of workplace sexual harassment has remained relatively stable, with one in three workers still reporting having experienced workplace sexual harassment over a five-year period. Here’s our recap of some of the key new data: Marginalised workers continue to be disproportionately targeted by, and negatively impacted by, workplace sexual harassment Young workers, women and non-binary workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers, LGBTQI+ workers, and workers with disability continue to be disproportionately targeted by workplace sexual harassment, with some groups even experiencing a slight increase in frequency of workplace sexual harassment since 2018. For example, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers who had experienced workplace sexual harassment in the past five years grew from 53% to 56% (compared to the 32% of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers in both 2018 and 2022). Women and younger workers were found to experience greater negative impacts as a result of sexual harassment, such as a higher degree of offence and/or intimidation, likely due to compounding experiences of discrimination and harassment and/or lack of seniority, creating power imbalance at work. Although most people who witness workplace sexual harassment still take no action, workplace support for active bystanders is growing Approximately two-thirds of bystanders in Australian workplaces remain passive. In 67% of cases where there was a witness to the most recent incident of sexual harassment, the witness did not take any action. Active bystanders in 2022 did, however, receive substantially more positive feedback in the workplace than those active bystanders surveyed in 2018. In 2022, over half of bystanders (57%) received positive feedback for making a complaint about the workplace sexual harassment, compared to just over one third (34%) of bystanders in 2018. There is growing support for creating safe, diverse, gender-equal workplaces free from sexual harassment, and many workers observe improvement in their employer’s approach Almost three quarters of survey respondents believed their organisation’s leaders were committed to ensuring a safe working environment free from sexual harassment. Similarly, half of the respondents agreed that their line manager showed leadership in preventing and responding to sexual harassment, and two thirds agreed that their organisation prioritised gender equality and diversity in the workforce. When asked if they had noticed a change in the previous 12 months in their organisation’s approach to preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace, 23% of workers had observed improvements. There’s still more work to be done by organisations to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, particularly in supporting people who have been targeted by sexual harassment through a complaint or reporting process Less than half of workers agreed their organisation provides support for workers’ well being during and after making a sexual harassment report or complaint. Less than half of workers also said that their organisation provides workers with information on how to make a report or complaint about sexual harassment. 39% of women and 59% of non-binary people surveyed believe that more needs to be done in their organisation to prevent and respond to sexual harassment. Interested in reading the report in full? Click here to read.