Survey finds one third of female lawyers sexually harassed at work

Long Lunch 30/05/2018
Photo credit: Getty.

A new survey has found a third of female lawyers have experienced sexual harassment during their career.

Results from the New Zealand Law Society survey has prompted an apology from President Kathryn Beck who said it "wasn't good enough" the society was unaware of the scale of the problem.

She told RadioLIVE’s Carly Flynn that the Law Society asked Colmar Brunton to undertake the research so that the data gathered was both independent and credible.

“And we have it, and it’s not a good picture,” she said.

The results found that overall, almost one in five lawyers have been sexually harassed at work during their career.

“It reinforces a lot of what we’re hearing from some of those really courageous women that have been speaking out,” Ms Beck told RadioLIVE.

“And so I want to thank them for being so tenacious and courageous in telling their stories because that was what drove us to say we don’t know what’s happening, we don’t know how bad the problem is.

“We asked the questions and we’ve got the answers.

They’re not good answers but at least we have some information.

More than half of all lawyers have been bullied at work during their career, and one in five have been bullied at work in the last six months.

The survey, the first of its kind in the Society's history, was commissioned after a wave of allegations of sexual harassment at law firms surfaced in the media and on Zoe Lawton's #Metoo blog. 

Listen to the full interview with Kathryn Beck above.

The Long Lunch with Carly Flynn in for Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.