More than half of women working in advertising across the U.S. and who were surveyed by 4A have faced some form of sexual harassment on the job. The industry trade group released its preliminary findings on Aug. 11 and will release a full report later this year.
For the report, 4A surveyed nearly 400 women working in the advertising industry. Forty-three percent of the participants work in middle management, 33 percent in senior management and 24 percent in other areas of the industry. More than 50 percent said they felt at least "somewhat vulnerable" to discrimination. Around 40 percent said they had been excluded from important business decisions due to gender bias. A third said they had been passed over for an assignment due to perceived gender discrimination.
The 4A report comes on the heels of several high-profile sexism controversies in advertising industry. In a July 2016 interview, the executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi caused outrage when he claimed the debate over gender equality is "all over" and that the reason few women are in leadership roles is because young people lack "vertical ambition." His remarks led to his resignation. Earlier this year, the former CEO of JWT was sued for making sexist comments and rape jokes while working at the firm. 4A's CEO said the report puts "to rest" any arguments that gender discrimination is an isolated problem in the advertising industry.
Workers who face sexual harassment or unwanted sexual advances in the workplace may find relief by speaking to an attorney about their situation. Legal counsel could explain how to properly document bias allegations and help file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Source: Mashable, "More than half of women in advertising have faced sexual harassment, report says," Patrick Kulp, Aug. 12, 2016