In the workplace, you have a right to be comfortable with the people you’re around. Your employer has a responsibility to maintain a safe environment there, too.
Sexual harassment, as well as other forms of harassment, have no place in your workplace. Unfortunately, there are times when harassment may occur and need to be addressed.
One common question people have when they’re dealing with harassment at work is if women can sexually harass other women or if men can harass other men. The answer is a simple, “yes.” Anyone could be harassed by anyone else.
Sexual harassment can happen to anyone because of anyone
Women and men can be harassed by people of the same gender. It’s not uncommon, either. In one poll that involved 2,235 female employees, 10% admitted that they had been harassed by other women.
Why is this so common and yet no one seems to talk about it? This comes down to the fact that men do harass women more often than women harass women. Studies and workplace guidelines focus on cutting down on male-female sexual harassment rather than looking at same-gender issues.
What kinds of sexual harassment might women face from other women?
It’s possible for women to face unwanted, and often explicit, comments from other females about their bodies or attitudes. They may be told to come to work looking more provocative or be inappropriately touched by others.
It’s important to remember that sexual harassment isn’t so much about sex as it is about having power over another person. There is a lack of respect for the individual who is being harassed, and there may be deeper issues as well. For females, this may be a result of “Queen Bee Syndrome,” which refers to the idea of professional women sabotaging or harming other women in the workplace due to feeling threatened or jealous.
Regardless of the cause, sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable. If you believe that you’ve been harassed by another female, you have a right to speak out and focus on addressing that issue, so that you can work in a safer environment.