The number of people who claim to be sexually harassed at work has experienced a significant increase in the last five years.
One in three workers in Australia has reported experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, 26 percent of men and about two in five women or 39 percent, an increase from one in five reported in 2012 .
The results are based on the fourth survey of the Australian Human Rights Commission on the subject, but according to the national commissioner for sex discrimination, Kate Jenkins, attitudes are changing.
The number of Australians who claim to be sexually harassed at work has experienced a significant increase over the past five years
She said that Australia is closer than ever to ending sexual harassment, with the #MeToo phenomenon helping to change attitudes.
Ms. Jenkins said it was difficult to know if the increase in numbers was the result of a greater awareness of the problem or a real increase in the incidents.
"A lot of people tell me to be patient, they tell me that the next generation will eliminate sexual harassment," he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
"The results of our survey tell us exactly what the next generation is tolerating and why we have to act, the change does not take time, it requires action."
Of Australians who had been sexually harassed in the past five years, only 17% had filed a formal complaint.
Almost half of those who complained said it did not lead to changes in their workplace, while one in three people also said they had witnessed sexual harassment, but only a third of them took action in response.
The attitudes of sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins are changing as a result of the #MeToo movement
A global investigation on the subject, announced in June, will question what is causing harassment and what can be done to change things.
"I am confident that this extensive national research will expand solutions that are practical and evidence-based," said Ms. Jenkins.
Women's Minister Kelly O & # 39; Dwyer said the survey would help guide the government as they work to change the culture.
"Women should feel safe at work and in all other aspects of their lives," he said.