Brooks, Walters, Comstock seek solutions to sexual harassment in male-dominated fields
U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA) led members of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues in hosting a hearing this week that explored sexual harassment in male-dominated fields, as well as strategies to effect change in workplace cultures.
“Historically, the manufacturing, construction, and technology industries have been dominated by men and (on April 24), the Women’s Caucus heard the stories from victims of harassment in these fields,” Rep. Brooks, co-chair of the caucus, said. “As I have said many times, harassment and discrimination in the workplace is absolutely unacceptable and should never be tolerated. I am proud to join my fellow members of the Women’s Caucus to further address and discuss the ways Congress can work with our industry partners to combat and stop harassment in the workplace.”
Reps. Brooks, Walters and Comstock hosted the hearing, titled “From Silicon Valley to the Factory Floor: Time’s Up for Sexual Harassment in Male-Dominated Jobs,” with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), caucus co-chair, and Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI). The lawmakers heard from survivors of sexual harassment, as well as experts.
“Women should have the opportunity to pursue careers in their field of choice without fear of harassment,” Rep. Walters, the vice chair of the caucus, said. The “testimony illustrates the need for change across multiple industries to ensure safe work environments for all employees. I appreciate the witnesses sharing their powerful stories and thoughtful insight on this issue.”
Rep. Comstock noted that women resign from high-paying jobs in the tech sector at twice the rate of men, “and sexual harassment and bias appear to be a large part of that exodus from these jobs that otherwise would be part of women closing the wage gap.”
The hearing marked the second in an ongoing series on sexual harassment in the workplace that the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues plans to hold. The first hearing, which was held in March, focused on sexual harassment in the service sector.
Rep. Brooks noted after the hearing that restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and other hospitality establishments in the service sector have the “highest rates of sexual harassment filed of any industry.” Rep. Brooks added that she was proud to work with other members of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues to “shine a light on what more needs to be done to prevent future abuse as well as support and protect the victims of abuse while they are at work.”