How #MeToo Changed the Workplace: Poll

By | November 4, 2019

The #MeToo movement has brought changes to America’s workplaces. According to a recent poll, roughly one-third of American workers say they’ve changed how they act at work in the past year as the recent spotlight on sexual misconduct and racial and ethnic diversity issues have hit mainstream.

The survey, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in collaboration with the software company SAP, also found that about a third of all working adults say they have talked about sexual misconduct in the workplace with coworkers in the past year.

The poll finds American workers view the #MeToo movement more favorably than unfavorably, 45% versus 27%. Half of women had a favorable opinion, compared with four-in-10 men; just over three-in-10 men view the movement unfavorably.

Those who say they have been subjected to workplace sexual misconduct were more likely to view the movement favorably, compared with those who say they have not been victims of misconduct, 60% versus 42%.

About half of working adults think things will change for the better for working women in general as a result of the recent high-profile sexual misconduct cases.

About half of working adults think things will change for the better for working women in general as a result of the recent high-profile sexual misconduct cases. And as a result of recent focus on issues of racial and ethnic diversity, about four-in-10 working adults think change for the better is likely for African Americans, while about a third say the same for workers of Hispanic origin.

Despite those results, the poll found that few Americans expect positive change will come to their own workplace or for them personally.

About four-in-10 working Americans say their employer has established new training on harassment in the workplace, instituted new policies about harassment or introduced new training on workplace diversity in the last two years.

When it came to workers’ own workplaces, about four-in -10 working adults say white people and men experience more advantages compared with others, while about half don’t believe they are more or less advantaged, according to the poll.

The poll also shows that people who supervise at least one employee are more likely than non-supervisors to say they have talked with coworkers about sexual misconduct in the workplace in the last year, 41% to 23%, and that they’ve changed how they interact with coworkers, 38% to 27%.

The AP-NORC Center survey of full- and part-time employees was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with funding from SAP. It was conducted July 25-30 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. Respondents were selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later were interviewed online or by phone.

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