Sexual Ridicule Ranks as Most Common in the Workplace

February 28, 2008 ( - Sexual remarks were the most common type of ridicule in the workplace, followed by ethnic and racial slurs and age-based remarks, according to a recent survey by consultant Novations Group.

According to a press release , the survey of 610 Americans found that 34% of employees said they overheard improper sexual remarks, 30% said they overheard ethnic slurs, 26% said they overheard racial slurs and 21% heard ridicule about sexual orientation.

Men were twice as likely as women to hear any kind of workplace ridicule, with the widest gap existing for sexual comments (44% vs. 22%).

There was also no significant difference between white and black employees in regard to the ridicule they overheard in the workplace, except sexual ridicule in which 36% of whites reported hearing sexual comments compared to 25% of blacks.

Also, employees with more education or higher income were generally less likely to hear workplace ridicule.