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Cancer specialists report on sexual harassment in medicine

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2019 | Sexual Harassment At Work

The #MeToo movement highlighted an often unseen reality of sexual harassment in the workplace: people can still be affected by harassment even if they hold high-ranking, prestigious jobs in the Florida entertainment industry, technology or medicine. For example, one study of gynecologic oncologists, who treat cancers of the female reproductive system, found that the majority of men and women had both been sexually harassed during their careers. A fellow in the specialty conducted the survey, reported at an annual event of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Results indicated that around 71% of female gynecologic oncologists and 51% of men in the same specialty reported that they had encountered sexual harassment on the job. While the researcher noted that the most aggressive forms of harassment were more likely to have been reported, the vast majority of incidents were never reported at all. Only 14.5% of the respondents who discussed experiences of harassment said that they had reported at the time. They gave a number of reasons for declining to report, including dismissing the importance of the incident, lack of confidence in follow-up or concerns about retaliation on the job.

The survey involved 402 gynecologic oncologists who responded to a survey distributed to 1,566 members of a professional association for the specialty. The researcher noted that people who had been harassed may have been more likely to respond to the survey as they saw it as more important. However, the researcher also noted that even if this particular sample was not fully representative, it still pointed to a significant issue.

Doctors, executives and other high-ranking employees can still be subject to sexual harassment on the job as well as to potential retaliation for speaking out. Workers who have been harassed can seek out South Florida sexual harassment legal assistance in order to pursue a claim.