In 2010, 37% of women reported experiencing verbal or physical behavior that created an unpleasant or offensive work environment. Among those, 27% indicated that the situation became serious enough to constitute harassment. Reports of harassment have increased substantially since 2010. In 2020, 61% of women lawyers in Utah reported that they experienced verbal or physical behavior that crated an unpleasant or offensive work environment. Among those, 44% reported that the situation was serious enough to constitute harassment. Overall, more than one in four women respondents (27%) reported workplace harassment in 2020, compared to 10% in 2010. By contrast, only 4% of men in 2010 and 8% in 2020 reported experiencing harassment in the workplace.
[My colleagues] started screaming at me, very abusive. I was sitting next to a male colleague. He said, 'I have never been treated like that.' I said, I have. I’m used to it. It’s common practice for women to deal with this kind of stuff...He was so appalled. He said 'literally I’ve never dealt with that before.' I said, it’s life for women in the law.
In recent years, the #MeToo movement has raised awareness of workplace harassment, highlighting the widespread impact on women’s careers and the need for cultural, legal and organizational changes to eliminate it in the workplace. One impact of this movement is growing awareness of the pervasive nature of harassment among men and women. Evidence suggests that greater awareness of and discussion around harassment has clarified the definition of harassment for women, leading to greater awareness of it in women’s everyday work lives. Greater awareness has increased reporting and EEOC filings related to sexual harassment claims. Given this context, we expect part of the increase in reports of sexual harassment between 2010 and 2020 is due to greater awareness among women attorneys in Utah about what behaviors constitute sexual harassment as well as greater confidence in identifying their experiences as harassment.
Experience of Workplace Harassment: % Women Attorneys Reporting Harassment
|In Corporate Counsel Positions||10%||45%|
|In Non-Profit Organizations||3%||33%|
|In Law Firms||10%||42%|