Gen Z: Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

by Tanya April 25, 2024

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an issue that pervades across generations, yet Gen-Z — the newest entrants into the global workforce—faces unique challenges and repercussions in their professional lives.

Generation Z employees are particularly vulnerable to workplace harassment due to their inexperience, frequent job changes, and heavy use of digital communication.

According to recent research by Deloitte survey, the top workplace harassment behaviors experienced by Gen Z include the following:

✔️ Offensive or suggestive emails or other forms of communication. For Gen Zs, 19 percent. Of millennials, 14 percent.

✔️ Inappropriate approaches or physical advances by colleagues. For Gen Zs, 17 percent. For Millennials, 12 percent.

✔️ Inappropriate physical contact in the workplace or at work events. For Gen Zs, 16 percent. Of millennials, 11 percent

According to the report, women, non-binary individuals, and members of the LGBT+ community are less likely to report incidents of harassment to their employers.

The impact of sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment at work often leads to decreased job satisfaction and productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates.

Gen Z employees may also experience significant emotional and psychological effects, such as anxiety, depression, and a diminished sense of professional and personal well-being.

These experiences can undermine their career progression and affect their long-term professional relationships and opportunities.

Organizations need to address these issues proactively to protect and retain young talent effectively.

How employers can tackle sexual harassment at work

Employers must play a crucial role in shaping the professional experiences of Gen-Z workers, particularly in how they address and prevent sexual harassment.

Implementing comprehensive training sessions, creating clear reporting channels, and fostering an environment where employees feel safe to voice concerns are essential steps.

Employers must go beyond mere compliance with legal requirements and strive to create a culture of respect and dignity for all employees. By taking proactive measures, organisations can not only protect their workers but also enhance their reputation, attract top talent, and improve overall productivity and morale.

How Gen Z employees can tackle sexual harassment

Legal awareness and resources

Gen-Z’s awareness and understanding of their legal rights concerning sexual harassment are pivotal in shaping their professional experiences. Equipping themselves with knowledge on how to address and report incidents is a critical step towards empowerment.

Resources provided by the UK government offer valuable guidance for those seeking to understand their rights and the measures they can take. Similarly, learning about the broader context of harassment helps in recognising and combating such behaviour in the workplace.

Advocating for change and support systems

Gen-Z professionals are not just passive recipients of workplace culture; they are also at the forefront of advocating for change.

This generation leverages social media and other platforms to voice their experiences and call for improvements in workplace policies against sexual harassment.

By doing so, they contribute to a more open dialogue about harassment, which can lead to significant cultural and policy shifts within organisations.

Moreover, the establishment of support systems within the workplace, such as mentoring programs and mental health resources, can provide Gen-Z employees with the backing they need to navigate their professional environments confidently.


In the quest for a harassment-free workplace, education, awareness, and proactive measures are essential.

Employers play a crucial role by fostering safe, inclusive environments based on respect and equality.

Understanding harassment’s effects and advocating for cultural and policy reforms empowers Gen Z professionals to advance their careers more effectively.

As societal norms evolve, the collective efforts of both individuals and organizations are crucial in creating a professional world where all individuals, regardless of generation or sexuality, can prosper without harassment.

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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