Survey: 68% of MKE women report sexual harassment at work

MILWAUKEE -- Sixty-eight percent of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, as reported from a survey by TEMPO Milwaukee. 

The Milwaukee Business Journal reported TEMPO Milwaukee, a non-profit organization committed to furthering the impact of women leaders in the community, received alarming results from a survey about sexual harassment in the workplace. 

TEMPO conducted an online survey in December, open to all 340 members, and received 97 survey responses. They found that 68% of the participants experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. According to the survey, many of the women experienced more frequent cases of sexual harassment earlier on in their careers. 50% reported that they were sexually harassed in an entry-level position. 36% reported harassment in middle-management positions and 35% experienced harassment in upper-management. 

Many of the women who responded hold high-level positions at their respective organizations and reported sexual advances in the workplace. These unwanted behaviors led to their resignation or shifts in their position. 

One of the survey respondents shared an experience where a co-worker tried to get into her hotel room on a business trip. "I got them to get out, but I was close to screaming," said the respondent. "Then I had to work with the person the next day as we were out of town on assignment. I just pretended nothing happened and he never said a word.” 

“These survey results — and the vivid and shocking examples of harassment our members provided — should serve as a wake-up call to Milwaukee’s business community,” said Jennifer Dirks, president and CEO of TEMPO Milwaukee.

Though the survey was inspired by the #MeToo movement, a sexual assault awareness campaign that began with cases in Hollywood, Dirks reminds the community that the issue is greater than Hollywood. “Milwaukee is not immune to its own problems with sexual harassment. This isn’t just happening in Hollywood,” said Dirks. 

TEMPO Milwaukee wants to bring attention to the issues occurring in our community in hopes to make the workplace safe for everyone. 

"Every man and woman deserves to work in an environment that is safe and comfortable," Dirks said. "That’s why we’re hoping to shift the conversation away from the salacious scandals of Hollywood and Washington, D.C., to real solutions and honest dialogue about the problem right here in Milwaukee.” 

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