Have you been sexually harassed at work?

A new survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickenson University and commissioned by Taft Communications and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, finds many Garden State women have.

Jayne O’Connor, the vice president of Taft Communications, says the poll shows “more than one third of women in the Garden state say that they have been victims of sexual harassment in their workplaces at some point in their careers.”

In fact, 36 percent said they were the victim of harassment, but “the good news, though, is that 70 percent of New Jerseyans say their employer follows through with the consequences when someone makes comments that violate a company policy about offending others.”

“It would be ideal if that number were 100 percent, but that trend is growing over the years and is definitely better today than it was say 25 years ago.”

She said despite all of the recent publicity surrounding the #MeToo movement, nearly two thirds of the women say that the frequency of sexual harassment has not change.

Among non-white and Millennial women, however, they say that sexual harassment at work has become less frequent over the past year.

"Hopefully, [that] means the incidents are less today than they were perhaps when the 35- to 55-year-old age group was reporting incidences," O’Connor said.

She noted that we are seeing a positive trend because “a great number of companies in New Jersey are providing sexual harassment training in the workplace.”

The survey found 84 percent of employees say they feel comfortable reporting sexual harassment, whether they experience it themselves or witness it.

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said “sexual harassment prevention programs are prevalent among New Jersey businesses and it’s clear that they are having an impact on encouraging employees to bring complaints forward.”

She also noted “while there are still too many women reporting sexual harassment incidents in their careers, this study suggests the trend is moving in the right direction in New Jersey.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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