Transcript for 'Crossing the Line:' A Look at the Sexual Harassment Women Face in the Workplace
We are back with our series "Crossing the line" where we focus on sexual harassment in the workplace. Three out of five women say they've experienced sexual harassment on the job and there have been more and more high-profile cases of harassment reported in just the last few months. Rebecca Jarvis is here. She sat down with diverse women from different industries to talk about it. Yes, good morning to you. We sat down with ten women to talk to them about what it's really like on the job and to understand what women in the workplace are facing today. I have been sexually harassed. Touched and propositioned. This is my experience. Their voices part of the 60% of women who say they've experienced workplace sexual harassment. I felt isolated. Vulnerable. Small. Unsafe. We brought together ten women from ten different industries from finance to hospitality services to government to hear their experiences. I worked in restaurants for ten years. Every time I walked into the kitchen someone would whistle. This person used guilt tripping to try to get me to do sexual activity as compensation. He would just stare at me really weird. I spent 25 years in the financial services industry. There was inappropriate behavior that would happen on a trading floor. Reporter: According to government statistics the finance sector is one of the industry's most prone to sexual harassment but as you're about to see sexual harassment knows no occupational boundaries. How many have you have been sexually harassed over the course of your career? Leave it up if it's more than twice. More than three times. And then a shocking drop in hands. How many of you filed an hr request against your harasser. Statistics show that 70% of women who experience workplace sexual harassment never report it, why? The fear of job retaliation. I think it always feels like an uncomfortable choice and I have to really think about pie values and what's important to me and weigh them against my career. I often feel like in the grand scheme of things I'm not that important to this company. In that moment I feel like there's an erasure of yourself. Reporter: Yet all the women facing the problem in their own way. I just like left, never returned back. I didn't even try to get a paycheck. I work in engineering with a bunch of guys and I'm very up front with them and I tell them, look, you're allowed to make comments but the minute you start coming off me we'll have issues. Reporter: Jenny yang heads the program and says gender based putdowns can be a form of sexual harassment because it's harassment based on one's gender. Sexual harassment is very much about power but sexual harassment does not always involve propositioning. It can involve demeaning comments, crude language, that makes women feel like they're in a hostile work environment. Reporter: How many have been referred to, show of hands, as a girl, a doll, a babe or honey at work? Sweetheart belongs on that list, as well. How many of you have heard you're too emotional? You're being too emotional. Now don't get so emotional. That's the now word for sexism and put you down but if you say anything you're emotional because you're a woman. Reporter: When we asked what can be done to stop this behavior. It starts in the home and it starts with the parents and it starts with our discussion with our young men and saying this is not okay. Reporter: And from the family room to the boardroom. It starts from the top. It requires your leadership to message clearly that harassment is not tolerated. Reporter: And a message from our forum of women in the workplace that part of the solution may lie within us. I'm raising my voice because I want to be an agent of change. To encourage other young women that they too can take a stand. To break out of silence. I'm speaking out against sexual harassment because it exists. Because it even exists. Because it exists and it shouldn't. And it shouldn't and as you saw there, when we asked how many women filed a complaint with the hr after experiencing or witnessing harassment, just two of them did which is typical in these situations, statistics tell us as many as 70% of women do not report it and what happened next is very telling. I asked how many of you felt your report was met with something positive? Every one of those women put their hands down. I was also struck, George, and we were talking about this, by this idea it starts in the home. Leslie, one of the women on the panel raised thissy idea you have to teach your children relative, sibling, we have to be doing a better job of drawing the line in the home and teaching these positive attitudes. To girls and boys. And girls, fascinating stuff.
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