Roughly one out of four men (28%) globally think it's acceptable to crack jokes or share stories of sexual nature at their workplace in the presence of female colleagues, according to a new survey. In comparison, only 16% of women have said that such jokes or stories are acceptable.
This survey by the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at King's College, London, had over 20,000 people across 27 countries participating. The study, conducted in collaboration with market research firm Ipsos MORI, revealed attitudes towards workplaces that many would regard as toxic or at the very least not female-friendly. Surprisingly, such a result comes even after the infamous #MeToo movement that rocked the corporate and entertainment world across continents.
Speaking on the issue, former Australian Prime Minister and the Institute's chair, Julia Gillard, opined that although persons who help fuel toxic work environments are in the minority, it still carries influence and their attitudes can make people's working lives a misery.
The survey found that globally, 52% of men and 41% of women said it was acceptable to ask a colleague for a date. And while 26% of respondents said that rejecting a colleague’s proposal can harm a woman’s career, only 7% said the same about a man’s career prospects. More than one in eight men, or some 13% of respondents, said that it is okay to display sexual material at work, as opposed to the 7% of women who think the same.
While people in South Africa, Sweden, and Spain are most likely to call out a senior colleague who makes a sexist comment, those in Poland, Japan and France are least likely.
"Our data shows the people feel women's careers are significantly more at risk then men's if they turn down a romantic advance, if they talk about their family life or don't take part in social activities with colleagues," said Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Public Affairs. She noted that workplaces are still dominated by men.
The survey also found that nearly 14% of respondents think talking about her family life is more likely to harm a woman's career. That against 6% who say the same for male professionals.
(With agency inputs) (PTI photo for representation)