People Of Color Are More Likely To Call Sexual Harassment “Serious” Than White Women, According To This Survey

Ad failed to load

The #MeToo Movement has proved to be a powerful tool in exposing the problem of sexual harassment and assault in every industry in this country and around the world. As the movement grows, more people have opinions about the attention sexual harassment in the workplace has received. On Jan. 29, The Washington Post published a survey that asked people about their opinion on sexual harassment, and the results say that people of color are more likely to call sexual harassment “serious” than white women.

The survey, which polled a random sampling of 1,005 adults, found that women of color (86 percent) were more likely than white women (72 percent) to say sexual harassment is a serious problem. The stark difference between white women and women of color isn’t unique to women, either. When asked if sexual harassment was a serious problem, men of color were more likely than white men and white women to say it was: The Washington Post reported 74 percent of men of color view the problem of sexual harassment seriously, compared to only 63 percent of white men and 72 percent of white women.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

The Washington Post conducted a similar survey in October of last year, which showed that the majority of Americans view workplace sexual harassment as a "serious problem." Since that survey, the percentage of women who view this problem seriously has gone up, but white women still lag behind women of color — despite the fact that many of the high-profile accusations of sexual harassment have come from white women.

Other survey questions included “Do you think recent attention on this issue (has not gone far enough), has been about right, or (has gone too far)?” and “Do you think recent attention on the issue will create a lasting change in the way U.S. society deals with the sexual harassment of women, or do you think things will end up going back to the way they've been in the past?” Compared to people of color, a larger percentage of white people believe the attention has gone too far, but will create a lasting change in society.

Scott Clement, The Washington Post’s Polling Director, said in a poll write-up, "Encouraged by news coverage and the #MeToo campaign on social media, more women have come forward, resulting in the resignations of several high-profile men in entertainment, the news media and politics. In The Post-ABC poll, majorities of both nonwhite and white women expressed optimism that attention to the issue will create lasting change in the way society deals with harassment of women."

Ad failed to load

But is optimism enough? The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging its existence, according to Richard Fossey, a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The Washington Post-ABC poll focused on the perception of sexual harassment in the workplace, but according to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace Study, white women receive more support and opportunities for advancement than men and women of color. The study also found that “the workplace is especially challenging for women of color” as Black and Latina women are less likely to feel supported by managers, less likely to receive a promotion, and more likely to leave the company. White women, on the other hand, reported feeling supported and treated equally.

The writers of the McKinsey study said, “Progress will remain slow unless we confront blind spots on diversity — particularly regarding women of color, and employee perceptions of the status quo.” The #MeToo movement has shown us something we’ve known for a long time — sexual harassment in the workplace is happening in most industries. For real change to happen, white women will need to use their privilege to protect their colleagues of color and speak out against sexual harassment in their everyday lives.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Here's Your Horoscope For Memorial Day Weekend

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

These Are The Absolute Best Memorial Day Sales This Year

Get your credit cards ready, because this year's fashion and beauty Memorial Day sales might just be the best ones yet. There's not only major savings for the holiday, but some of the savings start days before. You know, so you can spend the entire w…
By Kali Borovic

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In June To Help Get Your Summer Started

Summer is right around the corner, and so is another batch of streaming options to get excited about. On Wednesday, everything leaving and coming to Netflix in June 2018 was announced by the streaming platform. And don't worry, there's something for …
By Jamie Primeau

These Are The Beauty Products That Came Out In May That You DEFINITELY Need On Your Radar

For beauty lovers, months aren't just months: They're 28 to 31 day periods, wherein any and all product and brand launches can happen — and when they do, it feels like your birthday, no matter what time of the year you were actually born. The May 201…
By Amanda Richards

The 5 Rom-Coms You Need To Read This Summer, According To Someone Who Writes Them

'Tis the season for rom-coms. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and everyone is rocking the flirtiest items in their wardrobe. I don't know about you, but summer always takes me back to my teenage years — and that automatically makes me want t…
By Cristina Arreola

11 Tiny Sunglasses That Will Make You Look Even Cooler Than Kylie Jenner

You know what they say — the tinier the sunglasses, the more stylish the outfit. OK, that's not really a saying, but it seems to be the case these days. Basically every celebrity, model, and It person has been spotted sporting tiny sunglasses as part…
By Sara Tan

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan