Hospitality workers more likely to receive unwanted sexual attention than any other industry, new poll reveals

Sexual harrassment

It’s been revealed that workers within catering and hospitality, retail and construction are more likely to experience unwanted sexual attention than any other industry, ranging from suggestive looks, to inappropriate comments and even inappropriate emails or messages.

New research at found that four fifths of Britons have experienced unwanted sexual attention in the workplace, largely from customers and passers-by but also from colleagues and managers.

The study was conducted as part of ongoing research into Britons’ experiences in the workplace, with 2,365 full-time workers quizzed on their own experiences.

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Initially all respondents were asked ‘Have you ever received any unwanted sexual attention in the workplace?’ to which almost four fifths of respondents (79%) said that ‘yes’ they have.

When asked to state who the unwanted attention had been from, the majority confessed it was ‘customers and passers-by’ (78%), whilst others experienced it from ‘colleagues’ (15%) and ‘management (7%).

Out of those questioned, 14% worked within catering and hospitality at the time of receiving said attention, topping the industry poll, closely followed by retail with 13%.

The full chart showed:

  1. Catering and hospitality – 14%
  2. Retail – 13%
  3. Construction – 12%
  4. Entertainment – 12%
  5. Energy and utilities – 10%
  6. Law enforcement – 8%
  7. Teaching – 6%
  8. Marketing – 5%
  9. Healthcare – 4%
  10. Finance – 3%

Furthermore, when asked what kind of unwanted sexual attention they had received, ‘suggestive looks’ (31%), ‘inappropriate comments’ (25%) and ‘inappropriate emails/messages’ (13%) were cited as the most common ways that people overstepped the mark with them whilst at work.

George Charles, spokesperson for, commented: “Getting unwanted attention of any kind, sexual or not, can make people feel very uncomfortable. For many, they know how they’d react outside of the workplace, but in the workplace they’re worried about causing a scene or losing their job. We’d advise anyone to report the comments to their boss, or someone in a management position. We spend so much of our lives at work, we have a right to feel safe.”

Tags : hospitalitypoll
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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