StatsCan survey shows problem is particularly widespread in healthcare sector.
About 19% of Canadian women and 13% of men face harassment in the workplace, with the phenomenon particularly prevalent in healthcare jobs, according to a new survey by Statistics Canada.
Verbal abuse was the most common form of harassment for both men and women with 13% of women and 10% of men reporting they’d experienced abuse in the year prior to the survey.
Sexual harassment was most likely to affect women, with 4% saying they had experienced unwanted sexual attention in the workplace, compared to fewer than 1% of men.
Young, unmarried women were most likely to report some form of sexual harassment.
The results, based on Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey, gathered data in 2016, the year before the social media-led #MeToo movement focused attention on the issue.
The survey conducted from August to December 2016 questioned 19,609 men and women aged 15 to 64, who had worked for pay in the preceding year.
About 53% of women said the harassment came from a client or a customer at work compared with 42% of men.
People working in the healthcare-related jobs experienced the highest levels of harassment, with about 23% reporting they had been harassed in the past year.
In health occupations, including doctors and nurses, 27% of women and 21% of men reported harassment in the past year.
Among men, 39% of those reporting harassment in the Statistics Canada survey said they’d been harassed by a supervisor or manager, while among women, more—34%—said they’d been harassed by peers or colleagues.
The survey found that being harassed at work was associated with stress, poor mental health and lack of motivation.