We, Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd., conducted a survey with the purpose of trying to understand Zimbabwean employees' perceptions and opinions about sexual harassment and misconduct. The objective was to also quantify the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Zimbabwean workplace.
Sexual harassment can be defined as unwanted verbal, non verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient's dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient.
Summary of Key Findings
- Fourteen percent (14%) of the participants indicated that they have been sexually harassed at work.
- Forty eight percent (48%) of the respondents have witnessed a colleague being sexually harassed at their workplace.
- Twenty percent (20%) of the participants engage in "harmless" flirting and eleven percent (11%) said they feel their behaviour at their respective workplace encourages flirting.
- Twenty six percent (26%) of the respondents are not aware of the ways to address sexual harassment at their workplaces.
- Forty three percent (43%) of the survey participants stated that they are not aware if there is a policy statement on sexual harassment at their workplaces.
- Of the participants that were sexually harassed at work, seventy five (75%) were females.
- Sixty two percent (62%) of the participants that said the definition of sexual harassment is confusing, unclear and are also not sure of the boundaries between sexual harassment and harmless flirting were managerial employees.
- Of the respondents, seventy six percent (76%) of the respondents that mentioned that women bring sexual harassment to themselves were male.
- Nineteen percent (19%) of female managerial employees believe that women bring sexual harassment problems on themselves by dressing or acting provocatively at work and fifty four percent (54%) of male managers believe the same too.
- Generally, sixty six percent (66%) of managers believe women bring sexual harassment problems to themselves.
- Thirteen percent (13%) of all female respondents have been promised something in return for sexual favours at work.
- Sixty percent (60%) of male employees that have been promised something in return for sexual favours at work are currently in managerial positions.
- Eighty six percent (86%) of the respondents that have been punished for refusing sexual advances at work are female employees.
- Sixty six percent (66%) of the employees that believe they have not been any complaints in the last 3 years were managers.
- Sixty two percent (62%) of the respondents that do not feel confident enough to protect themselves were managerial employees.
- Two percent (2%) of the participants would accept sexual advances in return for favours at work.
- Seventy four percent (74%) of the managerial respondents have never offered support to someone who was being sexually harassed at work.
- Eighty six percent (86%) of the respondents have never received any training on sexual harassment.
- Some of the participants said they have lost their jobs, denied promotions and even been raped at their workplaces.
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