Man and woman with telescopesNearly a quarter of women believe their careers havesuffered because they turned down romantic attention orattempts from a direct supervisor. (Image: Shutterstock)

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While compensation inequality and workplace sexual harassment continue to be topissues among employers, it turns out that many people are okay withthe status quo, according to Randstad US's report, “Women in the Workplace 2019.”

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“While fewer women than men believe they are paid fairly, mosthave no way of knowing what others earn—and most don't care, aslong as they feel they are adequately compensated for their work,”the authors write.

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Related: Pay-equity claims rising, creating compliance'minefields'

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Research Now surveyed more than 1,200 workers on behalf ofRandstad US and found that while most women (61 percent) wouldleave an employer if they learned a male counterpart was makingmore than them, 71 percent of women don't care as long as theypersonally feel they're fairly compensated.

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As for male workers, nearly four in 10 (36 percent) feel womenshould not necessarily earn equal pay if their employers give womenmore time off than men for family leave.

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The survey also found that many workers don't report tomanagement when they witness sexual harassment of anotheremployee—though the survey did not ask whether respondents wouldcorroborate a coworker's story if the person reported the incidentfirst.

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Fifty-one percent of the respondents say they know a woman whohas experienced harassment in the workplace, while 37 percent knowa man who has. Half of workers say they have not spoken up uponhearing a colleague make an inappropriate comment about a person ofthe opposite sex in the workplace. This could be due to the factthat a third of respondents are not confident their companies wouldrespond quickly and appropriately if they reported a harassmentincident.

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A telling stat: 26 percent of women would rather quit their jobsthan report they had experienced harassment. As it is, nearly aquarter (24 percent) believe their careers have suffered—they werepassed over for promotions and/or received poor performancereviews, for example—because they turned down romantic attention orattempts from a direct supervisor.

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Minorities are more likely to report this (42 percent of AfricanAmericans and 36 percent of Hispanics versus 24 percent ofCaucasians), and they are also more likely to know a woman who hasexperienced workplace harassment (65 percent of AsianAmerican/Pacific Islanders and 59 percent of African Americansversus 49 percent of Caucasians).

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“Most employees aren't sure how they can improve gender equalityin the workplace, but cite male advocacy and mentorship programs asimportant steps,” the authors write.

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Indeed, 75 percent of the respondents say that having more menwho are willing to be vocal about gender equality issues will helpcreate a more equal workplace.

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“In honor of International Women's Day, Randstad is encouragingboth men and women to join the conversation and share how they areempowering women or have been empowered by women,” the companywrites, suggesting people to post their comments on social mediausing #empowerawoman and tagging @RandstadUSA.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.