Study reveals the state of the workplace in the #MeToo era

New findings from Pew Research Center show how people are feeling in the workplace now that #MeToo is in full swing. Fifty-one percent of all surveyed said that they don’t think the heightened awareness of “sexual harassment and assault” will change much for women at work, compared to 28% who think it will usher in “more opportunities” for the group and 20% who think it will lead to less.

Here are some of the data points that stood out.

How people feel about harassment claims

The research found that 46% of people think that regarding harassment and assault at work, “women not being believed” is a “major problem,” compared to 34% who think it’s only “a minor problem” and 18% who don’t think it’s an issue at all.

In this same vein, almost a third (31%) of those surveyed feel that “women falsely claiming sexual harassment/assault” is a big issue, 45% think it’s “a minor” one, while 22% think it’s not an issue at all.

Half of the respondents (50%) think that men getting away with sexual harassment/assault “is a big issue,” 35% think it’s “a minor” one, and 14% believe it’s not an issue at all.

When asked about “employers firing accused men before finding out all the facts,” 34% think it’s “a major problem,” 39% think it’s “a minor problem” and 26% think it’s not an issue.

Who’s dealing with harassment

Overall, 59% of women and 27% of men report getting “unwanted sexual advances or verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”

In terms of education level, harassment has happened to 70% of women and 27% of men with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 65% of women and 30% of men who have completed “some college,” and 46% of women, and 24% of men who’ve made it to “high school or less.”

Within the pool of women who say they’ve been harassed, 14% have had it happen “in a professional or work setting,” 30% have had it happen outside the office, and 55% have had it happen in both areas. For the men, 19% say they have experienced it “in a professional or work setting,” 38% have gone through it elsewhere, and 42% have gone through it in “both.”

Interaction in the workplace

While 51% of all people surveyed think that greater awareness of “sexual harassment and assault” has made it more difficult for men to know how to interact with women at work, 36% think it hasn’t changed much, and 12% think it’s now easier.

Among generations, 66% of those ages 65 and older think it’s now harder to navigating workplace interactions, while 25% think there’s “not much difference” and 9% think it’s now “easier” compared to 41% of respondents ages 18 to 29 think it’s “harder,” 40% think there’s “not much difference” and 16% think it’s “easier.”