In taking on jobs, women are not only able to be financially independent, but also make up a wider talent pool. However, being part of the workforce means that there are added opportunities to being subjected to sexual harassment. According to a 2020 survey by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) and market research company Ipsos, two in five workers in Singapore have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years. And for our 2020 What Women Want survey, in collaboration with market research firm Milieu Insight, 15 per cent of respondents said they have experienced sexual harassment at least once in their career.
In short, sexual harassment in the workplace is still a thing in this day and age, so much so that AWARE launched a Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Advisory (WHDA) service in 2019 to provide practical and emotional support to individuals facing harassment and discrimination at work. But what counts as sexual harassment in the eyes of the law, and is non-physical harassment less offensive? More importantly, what can you do if you’ve been sexually harassed?