A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that despite the prevalence of the #MeToo movement and several high-profile cases in recent 12 months, nearly two-thirds of employed New Jersey residents said they believe the rate of workplace sexual harassment has remained the same.
Among those respondents, 63 percent said they felt the prevalence of sexual harassment at their workplace stayed the same over the past year, according to the poll released Thursday.
“The #MeToo movement brought increased visibility to the issue of sexual harassment, but these incidents are still common in New Jersey workplaces,” said Krista Jenkins, a political science professor and director of the -Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, in a release. “While it seems the movement has not yet had a direct impact in our state, it will be important to continue to track employee perceptions to see if companies’ focus on sexual harassment can bring further improvement.”
But the poll also found that 36 percent of nonwhites and 24 percent of millennials, defined as those aged 18 to 34 years old, believe workplace sexual harassment has been less frequent over the past year.
Thirty-seven percent of working women in New Jersey and 28 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 59 reported being the victim of workplace sexual harassment at some point in their careers.
Eighty-four percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable reporting workplace sexual harassment, whether they witnessed it or experienced it firsthand.
And 70 percent of employed residents said they felt their employer followed through with consequences against their offender.
“Sexual harassment prevention programs are prevalent among New Jersey businesses and it’s clear that they are having an impact on encouraging employees to bring complaints forward,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the NJBIA, in a prepared statement. “While there are still too many women reporting sexual harassment incidents in their careers, this study suggests the trend is moving in the right direction in New Jersey.”