#MeToo, Casinos, and COVID-19

Jun. 15, 2020

 

As casinos begin to reopen, we've seen a trend on social media: more and more women in gaming are opening up about their experiences with on-the-job sexual harassment. While speaking out is a step in the right direction, workplace sexual harassment is all too common. IGI's special project coordinator and Ph.D. researcher, Shekinah Hoffman, has this to say:

More than one-third of women report that they have been sexually harassed in the workplace at some point throughout their careers. In my seventy interviews with women across the global industry, and multiple years of study on this issue, I have found sexual harassment, gender harassment, and unwanted sexual attention remains pervasive and normative within the gaming workplace, despite proactive measures taken to combat it. 

A male-dominated industry paired with a service culture leaves women, particularly young women in front-line positions, incredibly vulnerable and susceptible to harassment from both staff and customers. All too often, women’s stories of harassment and misconduct go untold or unaddressed. 

As the gaming industry takes the first steps to reopening, considering both the safety of their customers and employees, it is imperative they recognize the multitude of challenges women face on all fronts. Our existing practices and protections for Nevada’s gaming and hospitality female workers are insufficient—and are a “part of normal” we should not return to.

Hoffman’s research is part of larger study that examines the experiences of women in gaming management as it relates to sexual harassment, work-family conflict, and barriers to advancement. If you would like to learn more about her work or have any questions, please email shekinah.hoffman@unlv.edu or visit IGI's Expanding the Leaderverse website.