Retail Has a Sexual Harassment Problem

Because low wages, shitty hours, and angry customers aren’t bad enough, Racked is reporting that retail workers are also uniquely vulnerable to sexual harassment.

Citing a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress that “examined a decade’s worth of data around private sector sexual harassment charges filed through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” the story said that over 13 percent of all harassment claims in the past decade were made in retail, “which is the second highest percentage after the accommodation and food services industry.”

According to the story, there are multiple factors that have landed retail the number two spot. For starters, retail workers “tend to be women and specifically women of color,” a demographic that is also the most vulnerable to sexual harassment.

Furthermore, retail’s decentralized nature creates a chasm between the “front-line employees and first-line supervisors” and the corporate offices that oversee them, allowing for a lack of accountability and ineffective reporting.

And even when “someone does report their sexual harassment experience,” the story found that “the response from brands and corporations sometimes does not adequately quell further sexual harassment or make the woman feel secure,” which then leads to more silence at the lower levels.

So how do you stop it? “Experts agree that to better support employees, companies need to strengthen their processes and educate their workforce,” as well as have “policies on how they will investigate sexual harassment claims, multiple ways to report harassment, and training for employees, supervisors, and leadership.”

You can read more about it at Racked.

[image via]