Survey data is at its most useful when it shines a light on the daily challenges that play out in the workplace. Recently, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) released findings from its survey of behaviors in law offices. The report, Survey of Workplace Conduct and Behaviors in Law Firms, reveals how the combination of silence and the imbalance of power perpetuate negative behaviors at work. The survey results reinforce the need to break the link between the fear-fueled silence of individuals victimized by people in positions of power, and workplace cultures that lack clear systems for reporting and for supporting those who do come forward. The survey collected data on a range of behaviors, including actions that likely meet the definition of sexual harassment, as well as conduct that may not be legally actionable but can drain the energy and confidence of those who are exposed to or are the recipient of such negative conduct. The survey demonstrated that sexual harassment, bullying, hurtful humor, and disparaging remarks are generally not reported, but instead are buried by the fears of the victim and the implicit—and sometimes explicit—threats of the perpetrator. Many of the respondents refused to report their experiences… Read full this story
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