When people think about the subject of sexual harassment, they often picture women being harassed by men. While sexual harassment toward women is more common, men can also be the object of harassment in the workplace. An increasing number of women are accepting positions in high corporate management, giving them power over many employees and departments. In these roles, women are in a better position to make inappropriate comments and threats to people who they oversee on a regular basis.
According to the EEOC, at least 16.3 percent of sexual harassment complaints are made by men. This information does not distinguish, however, if the harassment stems from a woman or from another man. In several cases, men have filed lawsuits against women harassers and have won their settlements. In a recent case, a top executive was put on administrative leave after it was found she had been making lewd comments to her male colleagues.
Sexual harassment could be more common than some may think. Men are often afraid or embarrassed to report cases of harassment due to the repercussions it could have on their reputation and image. One man who did decide to share his story told how his senior at the company asked him to stay late nights with her. She began making sexual references, and because one bad word from her could lead to termination, the man did not report anything. The abuse and references continued until the man finally got moved to a new project. The stress of going to work in a hostile environment everyday can be overwhelming.