1 in 4 men feels sexual jokes at workplace acceptable

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London, March 8 (IANS) More than one in four men (28 per cent) globally think it’s perfect to crack jokes or recount stories of sexual nature at workplace in the presence of female colleagues, according to a new survey. But only 16 per cent women say such jokes or stories are acceptable.

The survey of over 20,000 people in 27 countries by the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College, London, conducted in collaboration with market research firm Ipsos MORI revealed attitudes towards workplaces that many would regard as toxic or at the very least not female-friendly.

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“While those who help fuel toxic work environments are in the minority, it’s nonetheless a significant and their views can make people’s working lives a misery,” said Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership.

When it comes to displaying sexual material at work, more than one in eight men (13 per cent) say it’s okay, almost double the proportion of women (7 per cent) who think the same.

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While people in Sweden, South Africa and Spain are most likely to tell off a senior colleague who makes a sexist comment, those in Japan, Poland and France are least likely.

Globally, 52 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women said it was acceptable to ask a colleague for a date.

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While 26 per cent say rejecting a colleague who wanted a date or romantic relationship is more likely to damage the career of a woman, just 7 per cent say a man’s career is likely to harmed.

“Our data shows the people feel women’s careers are significantly more at risk then men’s if they turn down a romantic advance, if they talk about their family life or don’t take part in social activities with colleagues,” said Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Public Affairs.

“Equality won’t happen without both men and women making changes and in the world of work, which is still dominated by men,” said Beaver.

According to the study, 71 per cent of Russians said they would feel confident in confronting a man who is harassing a woman in a public place, while at the other end of the spectrum, 29 per cent of people in Japan and 31 per cent in South Korea said the same.

Nearly 14 per cent think a woman who talks about her family life is more likely to have her career harmed – more than twice as many as those who think a man’s career is more likely impacted for doing the same (6 per cent), said the survey.



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