A shocking one-in-three United Nations employees report they have been sexually harassed at work over the past two years, according to a first-of-its-kind survey – and the figure is even higher for whole-career harassment.
While the most common types of “harassment” reported were “sexual stories or jokes that were offensive” and “offensive remarks about appearance, body or sexual activities,” more serious transgressions were also common, including offensive gestures and touching, as well as unwelcome attempts at conversation about sexual matters.
Two-thirds of the harassers were male. Only a third of the victims said they “took action” following the harassment. The survey was conducted by management consultancy Deloitte in the form of a confidential online questionnaire.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote in a letter to UN staff that the “sobering statistics” provided “evidence of what needs to change” to improve the UN’s work environment. While he claime