HomeBusiness Digest‘Sexual harassment rife in workplace’

‘Sexual harassment rife in workplace’

SEXUAL harassment is prevalent in many Zimbabwean workplaces, with the vice being most dominant in the transport and logistics sector, businessdigest has learnt.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

According to a survey report by Industrial Psychology Consultants titled Sexual Harassment in Zimbabwean Workplaces, the transport and logistics sector and non-governmental organisations have the highest prevalence rates of sexual harassment in the workplace.

“We observed that the Transport & Logistics industrial sector had the most sexual harassment incidents followed by non–governmental organisations. Further research would be needed to find out why certain sectors have higher prevalence of sexual harassment than others,” the report observed.

According to the survey, transport and logistics constitutes 25% of sexual harassment cases, followed by non-governmental organisations (19%), professional services (18%), banking sector (17%), telecommunications (16%) and the quasi-governmental sector.

Other sectors where sexual harassment is prevalent include medical services and tourism, both at 14%, education (13%) and mining (12%).

There were 793 participants in the survey, in which 59% of the respondents were male and the rest (41%) were female. Managerial employees constituted 66% of the respondents, with 34% being non–managerial employees.

The survey revealed that all age groups were vulnerable to sexual harassment in the workplace. “We then investigated which age groups are more vulnerable to sexual harassment. Our analysis showed that there are no significant differences between the proportions of those that have been harassed across all age generations,” the survey noted. “This implies that there is no generation that is more vulnerable to harassment than the other.”

Other key findings of the survey were that 14% of the participants indicated that they have been sexually harassed at work, 48% of the participants witnessed a colleague being sexually harassed at their workplace, 43% of the participants said that they are not aware if there is a policy statement on sexual harassment at their workplaces and of the participants that were sexually harassed at work, 75% were females.

Some of the participants, the survey revealed, said they had lost their jobs, denied promotions and even been raped at their workplaces.

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