Thirty-four percent of women working in British advertising agencies have experienced sexual harassment at work — and 72 percent of those had more than once — according to research published Friday.
Most of the perpetrators of harassment are managers, the study by U.K. industry bodies the Advertising Association, Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL) and the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) said. Eighty-two percent of those who had been harassed said the perpetrator was senior to them.
The organizations surveyed more than 3,500 people working in advertising and marketing in the U.K. and found that 30 percent have also witnessed other people being sexually harassed. Nine percent of men have also been victims of unwanted sexual conduct.
Places where alcohol is served, work parties and traveling on business were cited as times when harassment is mostly likely to happen. Many said there was a lack of understanding about what sexual harassment actually constitutes.
The ad agency world is one in which celebrations are common, of pitches and awards being won, and where client entertaining is frequent.
“When people are partying, it’s a lot. People are drunk. It creates murkiness,” one female agency executive told industry publication Digiday in November. “Sometimes, it results in relationships, which is great. But there are too many times where I have felt the pressure to just go along with it.”