Sexual harassment has knowingly been around the workplace for many years, but employees in California are beginning to examine how business culture around the subject is contributing to it. Women particularly are victims of harassment, and many of them experience it at some point in their career. Places that ignore or cover up the issue are making it more difficult for victims to come forward.
National Public Radio demonstrates how recent actions by Fox News highlight how businesses create an environment that downplays harassment and the consequences. Companies that choose to settle sexual harassment cases send the message that the defendant’s actions were acceptable, and settling the case allows for similar actions to continue. It also makes it less likely for victims to talk about it because they feel they are not being heard or taken seriously.
Female entrepreneurs in the tech industry also experience sexual harassment and discuss how there is a cover up in the business. The New York Times talks about a number of women who were propositioned with unwanted sexual comments and actions, and rebuking the advances resulted in loss of financing or put their job in danger. Many women report that it is customary in the industry to ignore and downplay the behavior while snubbing the women who came forward.
People are beginning to realize this behavior and are speaking out about it. More women are coming forward with their accusations, and companies are beginning to take notice, resulting in more firings and other disciplinary actions. By doing so, businesses are sending the message that sexual harassment is not tolerated, which in turns gives the victims more confidence to say something when presented with unwanted advances.