Hawai‘i Workplace Survey

Safe Spaces & Workplaces commissioned a study to assess the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment in the state of Hawaiʻi. Until this benchmark study, there had been no workplace sexual harassment data at the state level.

Here is what we learned: download the full survey report.

Rates of workplace sexual harassment are unacceptable.

It impacts everyone and occurs across islands, industries, ages, ethnicities, and gender in Hawai‘i.


of survey respondents were sexually harassed while working in Hawai‘i

52% of women

surveyed were sexually harassed while working in Hawai‘i

42% of men

surveyed were sexually harassed while working in Hawai‘i

Harassment in Hawai‘i: Who, What, and When

Who are the perpetrators?

The most common work role of a perpetrator of sexual harassment is “coworker” (55%). Other perpetrators include strangers, clients or customers, and bosses.

Which industries are most affected?

Sexual harassment was reported in each industry surveyed, with the highest rates in Manufacturing (75%), Technology (67%), Non-Profit (59%), and Hospitality/Visitor/Travel (58%).

When does harassment occur?

Respondents were sexually harassed in different work-related settings, including office or worksites, after-hours events, such as a work dinner or pau hana, and by phone calls and texts.

We have a culture of silence.

Local residents who have lived in Hawai‘i their whole lives are less likely to report workplace sexual harassment. Those who have lived in Hawai‘i fewer than 10 years are statistically more likely — 2x more likely — to report sexual harassment to Human Resources than lifelong residents. Employers might not know that sexual harassment occurred.

How did survey participants respond to instances of experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment in the workplace?

told a co-worker, family, or friend


reported the incident to Human Resources


changed jobs or quit a job


filed an official complaint or report

Workplace leadership makes a difference.

  • Take it seriously. Respondents who believed that their employers took workplace sexual harassment “extremely seriously” were statistically less likely to be sexually harassed than those who perceived that their employers took workplace sexual harassment only “somewhat seriously" (44% versus 66%).
  • Have policies & procedures. Respondents who reported that their organizations did not have established policies or procedures in harassment were statistically more likely to witness an array of sexual harassment than those whose organizations did have established policies and procedures.
  • Train employees. Rates of sexual harassment were statistically higher in those organizations that did not have training (86%) versus those that did (72%).

    Victims who indicated their organization did not have sexual harassment training were statistically more likely to be harassed by a supervisor than those who were unsure whether their organization had training (30% versus 8%).


Looking for resources for employers or targets of workplace sexual harassment? We compiled a list of important resources for you.

View Resources

Hawai‘i Stories

Read about the challenges facing Hawai‘i employers and how they are addressing sexual harassment in the workplace

Read More