Professional Coaches of Finland

Survey: Sexual harassment in the workplace

11.06.2024 | News, SAVALnews


Nearly 6,000 Finns responded to the survey of Akava member associations. The survey was conducted in the autumn of 2023. A total of 664 ASIA members responded to the survey; 52% said they were working as an expert and 33% in executive level positions.

The good news is that most of the respondents had not noticed sexual harassment at work in the last three years.

ASIA survey results in a nutshell

  1. In the survey, most of the respondents (83%) had not noticed sexual harassment at work in the last three years. In addition, 90% of all respondents reported that has not personally been subjected to sexual harassment in their current or most recent work community in the last three years.
  2. Up to 55% of survey respondents under the age of 30 reported having experienced sexual harassment whereas, for example, 17% of 30-39-year-olds and 12% of 40-49-year-olds.
  3. Less than one-fifth of respondents reported said they found harassment in his workplace that had occurred either face-to-face or online on social media or by e-mail. The perceived harassment was reported to be mostly verbal but also physical or inappropriate messages in electronic channels. Mostly, the harassment was directed at a member of their own work community.
  4. When sexual harassment occurs, 62% of respondents answered that sexual harassment is being addressed in the workplace. Less than 20% of respondents, especially the youngest, respondents under the age of 30, said they don't know if there will be harassment in the workplace.
  5. Nearly half of the respondents reported that the employer has drawn up guidelines for sexual harassment. Only less than one-fifth of employers have organized sexual harassment training for either the foremen or the entire staff.
  6. Majority of respondents (83%) know who to turn to if they have observed or experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Primarily, you turn to your own foreman (91%) or a staff representative (58%), such as a shop steward. There are several contact points, such as occupational health care (50%) and a close colleague (36%), also their union (20%) is contacted. Only slightly more than half of those under the age of 30 knew who to turn to. Their primary point of contact is their own foreman and colleague, then an occupational health professional. Younger people contact the union clearly less often than older people over 40, for example.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the employer is obliged to take active action and intervene as soon as he or she becomes aware of harassment. If the employer does not intervene in harassment, the employer may at worst commit a crime.

Don't be left alone

  • Ask the disturber to stop. It is important to make it clear to the harasser that the behavior is undesirable.
  • Tell the foreman.
  • If necessary, support the Occupational Safety and Health Ombudsman, a shop steward or a co-worker.
  • Contact the occupational health service.
  • If necessary, you can also get support from your own union – contact our employment counselling service

Text: Heidi Salonen. The article has been published on ASIA membership magazine 2/2024.

Included in the survey were: ASIA - Association for Professionals and Managers, Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK, The Finnish Association of Academic Agronomists, Akava Special Branches, AKI-unions, The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland, The Association of Finnish Lawyers, Education and Youth Work Experts KNT, Union of Technical Professionals KTK, Finnish Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, Union of Professionals in Natural, Environmental and Forestry Sciences Loimu, Talentia Union of Professional Social Workers, The Finnish Business School Graduates, The Finnish Medical Association FMA,  Tradenomit and Social Science Professionals.

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