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Brilliant Data concludes that young women are often subject to victimisation, regardless of sector


Brilliant Data’s focus on victimisation is based on data collected from over 42,000 employee surveys. It shows clearly how young women are subject to victimisation to a higher degree than men within the construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as within the service industry and professional services companies.

One in ten women aged under 30 has been subject to victimisation in her workplace. Equivalent figures for men are 1 in 17. Victimisation is most common within the professional services sector, where young women under 30 years old are affected to a greater extent than women of the same age in other sectors. Within the female-dominated service company sector, the figures clearly show that women of all ages are more affected than men, and within construction and manufacturing, women up to 50 years old are affected to a greater extent than men of the same age.

Among women, discrimination and bullying are the most common forms of victimisation and among men bullying is the most common form. Sexual harassment is about four times more common among women than men and is twice as common within the service industry as within professional services. Among the under-thirties, the most common form of victimisation is discrimination, and among older people, the most common form is bullying.

How is victimisation dealt with at your workplace? We have listed three key activities:

  • Implement absolute zero tolerance and clear information

First things first, implement a policy of absolute zero tolerance. Clarity is everything – emphasise the executive management’s responsibility versus the individual’s responsibility. Produce action plans and guidelines for how both management and employees should act if a situation arises. Everybody should know who to contact, and where to find more information. Set common rules to promote inclusion, at both team and organisation level.

  • Educate the employees and enlist their help in getting to grips with the problem

On many occasions there is clear ignorance when it comes to the different forms of victimisation and its spread. Raise the level of knowledge within the organisation through coaching, education and encouraging engagement among the employees themselves so that you can more easily reach out into the organisation as a whole and get to the roots of the problem. Appoint key individuals and ambassadors with the responsibility to prevent victimisation, a measure which can become automatic in the long-term. Allow the change to take place from the inside.

  • Collect feedback and follow up your initiatives

Survey regularly. Collect feedback from the employees individually to ensure that the organisation has an inclusive culture. Once you get an idea of what works well and what needs to be improved, it is possible to prioritise and identify possible measures to put into action. Set up goals for the initiatives and follow how you are progressing towards the goals up on a continuous basis. This makes it possible to rapidly address and prevent any deviations that are not in line with the objective.

The study has been highlighted in several media outlets, including the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

About the study:

  • The study is based on Brilliant Data’s surveys on victimisation in workplaces within the construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as within the service industry and professional services companies.
  • The aim of the study is to bring out the differences in victimisation between the sectors distributed according to gender and age.
  • The survey is based on over 42,000 digital responses to the question “have you been free of victimisation (bullying, discrimination or sexual harassment) at work during the last 12 months?”

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