Women Face Harassment, Workplace Discrimination

Women Face Harassment, Workplace Discrimination

Nearly four in ten women (37 percent) in the United States say they or a family member have been sexually harassed because of their gender, a report from National Public Radio, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds.

Part of a series of reports based on a nationally representative survey conducted between January and April, the report, Discrimination in America: Experiences and Views of American Women (64 pages, PDF), found that 29 percent of women respondents said they or a family member had been threatened or non-sexually harassed, while 21 percent said they had experienced violence because of their gender. Native American women, LGBTQ women, women under the age of 29, and women with a college degree were more likely to report being sexually harassed (61 percent, 65 percent, 60 percent, and 50 percent, respectively) or being threatened or non-sexually harassed (59 percent, 48 percent, 41 percent, and 39 percent).

The survey also found that 41 percent of all women and 41 percent of LGBTQ women reported being discriminated against when it comes to being paid or promoted equally, while 31 percent said they were discriminated against when applying for jobs. After workplace discrimination, women were most likely to say they had personally experienced discrimination when applying to or attending college (20 percent), going to the doctor or a health clinic (18 percent), renting or buying a home (16 percent), interacting with police (15 percent), and trying to vote or participate in politics (9 percent). According to the report, 9 percent of women respondents had avoided seeking medical care or police assistance due to concerns over discrimination, while 14 percent had considered relocating because of discrimination.

In terms of race/ethnicity, Native American and African-American women were the most likely to report discrimination in equal pay or promotion (57 percent and 50 percent), applying for jobs (49 percent and 40 percent), and trying to rent or buy a home (25 percent and 24 percent).

"Our survey highlights the extraordinary level of personal experiences of harassment facing women today, as reflected in the news," said Robert Blendon, co-director of the poll and professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School. "These national conversations may have affected how people viewed or responded to their own experiences in our survey, or their willingness to disclose these experiences."

"Discrimination in America: Experiences and Views of American Women." National Public Radio, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Report 12/11/2017. "Poll: Discrimination Against Women Is Common Across Races, Ethnicities, Identities." National Public Radio 12/11/2017.