Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series

Do Sexual Harassment Programs Make Workplaces More Hospitable to Women?

April 29, 2019

Do corporate sexual harassment programs reduce harassment?  If they do, new programs should boost the share of women in management because harassment causes women to quit. Sexual harassment grievance procedures incite retaliation, according to surveys, and our analyses show that they are followed by reductions in women managers. Sexual harassment training for managers, which treats managers as victims’ allies and gives them tools to intervene, are followed by increases in women managers. Training for employees, which treats trainees as suspects, can backfire. In this seminar, Frank Dobbin discusses how programs work better in workplaces with more women managers, who are less likely than men to respond negatively to harassment complaints and training. Politicians and managers should be using social-scientific evidence to design harassment programs.

Frank Dobbin, Harvard University, Department of Sociology

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