University of Leicester
2023ContardiSDClinPsy.pdf (1.44 MB)

Using a gendered lens to explore the impact and experiences of stalking and harassment in the workplace

Download (1.44 MB)
posted on 2023-11-30, 16:26 authored by Sophie M. Contardi

Literature Review

Workplace sexual harassment has detrimental impacts for individual employees and negative organisational outcomes. Masculine culture and high levels of sexual harassment are pervasive within the police force. This narrative review appraises and synthesises the quantitative research exploring the adverse impacts of workplace sexual harassment for male and female police employees. The review identified 854 studies and 14 met the eligibility criteria for inclusion. A narrative synthesis identified different psychological (e.g., work-related stress) and job-related (e.g., absenteeism) impacts of workplace sexual harassment for police employees. The findings highlight the negative impact workplace sexual harassment has for police employees. The need for social bonds and additional support, psychological safety and wider organisational changes are outlined. This includes a cultural change that promotes gender equality and diminished power imbalances. Limitations, implications, and future research areas are discussed.

Empirical Research Study

Stalking is a common experience for professionals including psychologists, with a high prevalence particularly for females. Victims experience psychological, professional, and physical impacts. Various coping strategies are adopted to manage the fear, and organisational responses are variable. The study aims to explore UK female psychologists’ experiences of stalking, harassing and threatening behaviours in the workplace, and their organisation’s response to these experiences. Individual semi-structured interviews were used to collect participant (n=15) experiences. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the interview data and identify salient themes. Three main themes were identified from female psychologists’ experiences of stalking, harassing and threatening behaviours in the workplace including ‘personal and professional cost’, ‘sense-making and compassion’ and ‘organisational responses’. Findings were discussed in relation to the literature, feminist dominance theory and attachment theory. Support is recommended for an organisation that promotes psychological safety, adherence to the unwritten psychological contract for psychology employees and consideration of the systemic dominance and subordination of women in the workplace. Recommendations for training to increase organisational awareness of the risks to avoid blame and minimisation of these experiences were made.



Ceri Jones; Noelle Robertson

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Theses


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager