Let’s look at a case study to see how a case of harassment might play out.
Denise is the newest scientist in a medical testing laboratory. Tom, who is in his 50s, is her supervisor and all of the other members of her department are male.
Denise is having trouble fitting in and often finds herself excluded from her department’s social events. The guys spend a lot of time chatting about sports- also an interest of Denise’s- but they don’t attempt to include her in conversations.
Tom is often dismissive of Denise’s ideas but responds openly when they are restated at meetings by one of her male colleagues. While Tom is brusque and jokes around with the men, he is always very polite and formal with Denise.
Denise often overhears the men make comments about women that make her uncomfortable. They jokingly make comments like “Look, the kitty has claws!” when Denise expresses frustration about their conduct.