Many women in the U.S. auto industry have little or no faith in human resources in dealing with sexual harassment. So reports AutomotiveNews.
The options for many end up being to ignore the harassment or quit their job, a survey by AutomotiveNews reveals. The greater concern for these women, should they decide to report harassment, is being tagged as a malcontent and not receiving any backing or support from HR.
About 18% of women reported harassment from their colleagues to HR and nearly 25% said they remained silent because they thought speaking up would not help. Among those who did report, 30% said they were unhappy with how HR handled their complaint and only about 6% expressed extreme satisfaction from their experience with HR.
“I’m not at all surprised at the widespread reluctance to report to HR and the disappointment when people do,” says Anna-Maria Marshall, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Marshall, who has studied workplace harassment, says HR is often ineffective in helping women because they demand alleged victims provide proof of the harassment, including witnesses or emails.
Without that evidence, HR says there is nothing it can do. “And nothing gets better,” Marshall says. “HR departments need to think creatively about addressing sexual harassment, ways that are less adversarial and more proactive.”