WNYC/Harris Poll: For Women at Work, Harassment Complaints Fall on Deaf Ears

| Published by The Takeaway |

“Oh what a jerk, just ignore him.”

That was the advice a colleague gave to Alexandria Chang about 13 years ago. At the time, Chang was in her mid-20s and was a preschool teacher at a private school outside of Boston. She says that a father of one of the children in the school had made a sexually explicit remark to her.

“That comment really bothered me, but I didn’t tell my supervisor,” she says. “I was about 10 years younger than this parent, this was my first place of employment out of Teacher’s College, and I was a Canadian living in the states, so I felt lucky to even have a job and a visa. “

Though she confided in her co-workers, “neither suggested [that] I should let anyone in the school administration know,” she says.

That advice is not surprising. Reporting workplace sexual harassment can be an agonizing choice for many people, especially women.

According to a recent Takeaway-Harris poll, more and more people (62 percent) say they feel comfortable speaking out and challenging their abusers. But when digging into those numbers, a different story unfolds.

Read more and listen at WNYC’s The Takeaway