The experience and perception of sexual harassment in the workplace
Manuel, Meegan Candice
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Sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be experienced by many women around the world. Men may also be sexually harassed in the workplace by women or by other men. Given the pronounced attention accorded over the last few months to high ranking individuals within South Africa and the USA who have allegedly been involved in incidences of sexual harassment, the study is timely. The focus of sexual harassment studies within the workplace is furthermore important as it affects the employees, employers and the workplace as a whole. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the experiences and perceptions of sexual harassment of employees of an information technology company. Information technology has typically been a male dominated occupation, and prevailing traditional, paternalistic attitudes may adversely impact on women's choice and pursuit of a career in this field. However, South African legislation, promulgated to enhance the intake of women and marginalised groups, has sought to strengthen gender equality and, concomitantly, the participation of women in information technology. The current research was conducted by administering the Sexual Harassment Experience Questionnaire and Perception of Sexual Harassment Questionnaire to a sample of 131 employees. These questionnaires were distributed via email within one organisation and four regional branches of the same organisation.