Sexual Harassment Plagues the Auto Industry Amid Lack of Female Workers

In an industry where employees are only 24 percent female, sexual harassment is still a big problem. 

Sexual harassment in the workplace report
Philip Toscano—PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Project XX Survey, conducted by Automotive News, asked 900 women about sexual harassment in the automotive industry, and the results were surprising.

The report compared the automotive industry results to Stanford University’s “Elephant in the Valley Survey,” which studied sexism in the tech industry in 2016, and was also used to survey the advertising and marketing industries. 

 Here are some of the key takeaways.

Nearly 70 percent of women were told they were “too aggressive,” and 50 percent were told they were “too quiet. ” 

More than 50 percent received comments on their appearance, and were told to dress more feminine and display their breasts.  

Sixty-five percent said they received an “unwanted advance” by a male coworker, which is more than any other industry surveyed by Stanford. 

Automotive News

Sexual Harassment in the Women's Workplace

Michele Madansky Consulting and Automotive News Project XX Survey 

Sixty-three percent of women claimed to be excluded from male-oriented company events such as happy hours, football games and meetings at cigar lounges. 

Women also said that they are asked to do “secretarial tasks” like creating posters, cleaning the office, transcribing meetings and planning events. The men escape these tasks. 

The numbers were published on Sunday after social media flooded with women’s stories of sexual harassment in the workplace amid Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein scandal.  

One survey participant summed up her sentiments about the results. 

 “The issues facing women working in automotive are far more severe and the sexism far deeper than in other industries," she wrote. "It's a complete shame and an embarrassment."