“Sexual Harassment of Women Working as Room Attendants within 5-Star Hotels”

Posted on November 9, 2016, in Personal Experiences, Research, Sexual Violence, Women

Publication Information

Title: "Sexual Harassment of Women Working as Room Attendants within 5-Star Hotels"
Publication: Gender, Work & Organization
Author: Kensbock, Sandra, et al.
Date: 10/08/2014


Given the gendered power relations and the isolated nature of women hotel room attendants’ working environments, guest-initiated sexual harassment experienced by room attendants is a significant, under-investigated problem. This study of women attendants’ experiences of sexual harassment was conducted in 5-star hotels located on the Gold Coast — a notable tourism destination — of Queensland, Australia. Adopting a socialist–feminist critical theory epistemological perspective, the study used a qualitative constructivist grounded theory methodology. The research reveals the pervasiveness of sexual harassment experienced by women hotel room attendants. In particular, this study illuminates the varied forms, meanings and consequences of sexual harassment in a particular organizational context. In focusing on the interacting effects of the gendered nature of the hotel workplace and the hotel workplace culture, the near-complete ‘normalization’ of sexual harassment within the hotels is revealed. This outcome is a source of considerable concern, with implications for the industry, for employment relations institutions and for public policy.



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