People have been sharing their stories of harassment at work

Aimee Meade
Wednesday 10 August 2016 13:50
news

Almost two-thirds of women have been sexually harassed at work, according to a study from the TUC.

In response to the research, many people have been sharing their experiences on Twitter under the hashtag #HarassedAtWork.

We spoke to a few of them to find out more.

Charlotte Wilk, 24, from London was harassed by a male colleague for three months. It was predominantly verbal harassment, she told indy100. It caused her to feel depressed, affected her performance at work and she seriously looked for another job.

"While statistically if affects more women," she said, "harassment can happen to anyone of any gender, age or orientation."

When Frank* was 19 he was harassed by one of the secretaries at his work.

Frank told us that at tea breaks the secretary would announce loudly that there were no chairs and she would have to sit on his lap. She would then "stick her rear in my face and pretend to sit". This happened everyday, and Frank said "was not sexy to a young man, just embarrassing."

Saurav Dutt has worked in the legal industry for more than 10 years and has experienced and witnessed harassment on a number of occasions.

Female colleagues were told to use the company expense account to buy revealing clothes, Saurav told us:

At networking events or cocktail parties hosted by the firm, they were put front and centre, sat next to specific men and told to ply them with drinks. They had no say in it and were thanked for wearing short skirts and plunging tops.

Early on his career, at a networking event, Saurav was told by a senior lawyer that his appearance was not up to scratch, and that he would not have been hired "if it was my company." He was told to get a new suit and left the event feeling ridiculed and embarrassed.

Hannah* worked as a waitress between the ages of 16 and 21 and during that time she experienced harassment from a number of male colleagues.

She told indy100:

I was constantly asked about my sex life, wolf-whistled at when I entered the kitchen, endured daily comments about my breasts and if I was around chefs, they would touch my bum and hips.

This was passed off as banter, but as Hannah got older she started to stand up for herself. "When I [stood up for myself] I was called frigid, stuck up and told I didn't have a sense of humour," she said.

The sexual harassment never stopped, even when Hannah complained to the owners of the restaurant, so she left and found another job.

Have you experienced harassment at work? Tweet us @indy100.

*Some names in this article have been changed

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