According to survey results presented at a Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Annual Meeting, more than 40% of vascular surgeons reported experiencing sexual harassment at the workplace. The anonymous survey asked surgeons from health care facilities and training sites in Florida and other states whether they had experienced harassment of various forms. Nearly one in three of the respondents said they thought harassment was common in surgical specialties.
The most common types of harassment, according to the results of the survey, were unwanted sexually explicit comments, unwanted flirtation and being called a sexist slur or nickname. Victims were about three times more likely to be women than men. While 84% of respondents answered that their employer had a path for reporting harassment, less than 10% of incidents were actually reported.
About two thirds of vascular surgeons who said they experienced some kind of harassment at the workplace said that they didn’t report the behavior because they thought it was mostly harmless. Other reasons include not thinking they would be believed, not wanting to be identified as a victim and fearing that they would be punished for reporting. A majority of respondents said that they would not feel comfortable discussing the issue with the leadership at their institution.
For victims of sexual harassment in Boca Raton, Florida, sexual harassment legal assistance is available. Knowing what to do in this situation can be very difficult, but a lawyer may help put the situation in perspective and recommend a legal option that supports the client’s best interests. Whether this involves reporting an actual crime to law enforcement or filing a lawsuit against a large corporation, the attorney may work as an advocate for their client every step of the way.