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Many New Jersey women doctors face sexual harassment at work

A study published in JAMA reported that nearly one out of three of female doctors throughout the country have experienced sexual harassment on the job. In comparison, 4 percent of male doctors reported sexual harassment at work.

More than half of women doctors who had faced sexual harassment at work said that it had affected their confidence. Just under half said it had negatively influenced their ability to advance in their career. The study's author said that she had expected the number of women who reported experiencing sexual harassment to be much lower because the numbers of men and women in the profession are equalizing. She said that it is increasingly important that all people have equal opportunities.

The study based its results on a survey done of 1,066 doctors who had been awarded a recognition for career development from the National Institutes of Health. It asked questions about gender bias as well as questions about threats, sexual advances, and more subtle attempts at bribery for sex.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can leave a person in a complicated position. Despite the federal protections that exist, victims might be concerned that they could lose their job if they report harassment or that doing so could negatively affect their career. Some people might not know their rights around sexual harassment. Most companies have established mechanisms to report such behavior, but this can sometimes prove fruitless and could even provoke a retaliatory response. In such an event, an employment law attorney may suggest the filing of a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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