Washington, D.C. - After receiving numerous complaints from female operatives in war zones, CIA officials are stepping up their efforts to halt sexual harassment in its ranks.
CIA director, David Petraeus, has sent a team of managers to meet with senior officials in Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly Yemen and Somalia and other regions where the U.S. is conducting drone operations to address the problems of sexual harassment and ramp up training to prevent future issues.
Between 2009 and 2011, the spy agency conducted a survey of employees dispatched to war zones to gauge “perceptions” about a range of workplace issues, and found no progress in alleged sexual harassment.
According to the survey, numerous women reported being harassed most frequently by their supervisors. The majority of the alleged incidents included sexually charged jokes and comments. But some of the incidents, which were not reported, included more aggressive physical contact and sexual advances.
Although the CIA keeps most of this information confidential, some stories about sexual harassment have surfaced. One employee, Ilana Greenstein, who worked in Iraq in 2004-05, said a supervisor, responsible for her promotion “hit on her” aggressively and wouldn’t take no for an answer. This made her feel awkward and fearful of reporting the hostile workplace because she knew it would be the end of her career.
Fear of losing their job is a common reason employees are reluctant to report harassment. These employees are often subjected to retaliation and must retain a sexual harassment attorney to make their employers recognize the problem and address it.
All workplaces should be free of this type of abuse, but the problem persists both in government agencies and private businesses. Sexual harassment lawyers recognize the distress this causes for employees, they work hard to make certain the behavior stops and the victim is compensated.
No man or woman should have to go to an abusive workplace, but if employers are not addressing the abusive conduct the victims should get the help of a sexual harassment attorney.