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Women executives and their struggle with sexual harassment: A multiple case study

To cite: Salvador, S. I. L. (2022). Women executives and their struggle with sexual harassment. International Journal of Youth-Led Research, 1(1). 

Received March 8, 2022
Accepted May 16, 2022

Sophia Isabel L. Salvador



This is a youth-led research study. Youth researchers took all initiatives and made all decisions throughout the entire research process.

The multiple case study design enables cross-case synthesis and analytical generalization while grounding the investigation of the research topic in real-life context.

This study promotes the notion that while celebrating nations’ achievements closing the gender gap, the other side of the coin – women’s ongoing struggle with sexual harassment – needs to be properly addressed.


Objectives  This exploratory study is aimed at discovering Filipina women executives’ personal experience with sexual harassment.

Methods  This is a multiple case study with a qualitative approach. With non-probability convenience sampling, we selected five women executives from the capital region of the Philippines for in-depth interviews. For data analysis, we used a thematic analysis method.

Results  The four types of sexual harassment – physical, verbal, cyber, and non-verbal – were all evident in our study. One major theme found through the cross-case synthesis was the calling for proactive actions.

Conclusion  Filipina women executives have personal experience with all types of sexual harassment. Neither their inner drive for excellence nor their exceptional career achievements prevent sexual harassment from happening to them and around them. Thus, women executives call for sufficient and effective sexual harassment prevention education programs.

Keywords  Women executives, multiple case study, gender equality, the Philippines, sexual harassment prevention education



© Author(s) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC By-NC. 

No commercial re-use. 

See rights and permissions. Published by JYLR.

Youth Research Vox, 

Los Angeles, CA, U.S.

Correspondence to
Sophia Isabel L. Salador

Sustainable Development Goal number 5, gender equality, is a global effort to abolish every form of discrimination against people of all genders. Countries have been struggling with gender inequality, as their deep-rooted patriarchal cultures and ideals have ostracized women. Predetermined gender roles and the lack of efficient policies both contribute to the gender gap that exists in all countries (World Economic Forum, 2021).

Gender inequality is present in many forms, such as stereotypes, harassment, and discrimination. For industries such as business, law, technology, and other male-dominated sectors, gender inequality is a hindrance to women’s growth and the company’s holistic development. It was recently found that women in higher status occupational positions have a high likelihood of experiencing gender and age discrimination (Roscigno, 2019). Existing studies on this topic exhibit two tendencies: (1) using large surveys that lack of in-depth analysis, and (2) missing female perspective, specifically the perspective of women executives. In this study, we will investigate women executives' personal experience with gender discrimination using a multiple case study method. We recognize the complexity and breadth  of the topic of gender discrimination. In this study,  we will focus on sexual harassment, reasoning it is an under-researched but highly relevant topic. We decided to study the Philippines because the principal investigator of this study is a young woman who lives in the Philippines. This study set out to answer the following research question:

To what extent do women executives experience sexual harassment at various times in life?

Salvador, S. I. L.  JYLR Open 2022. http://doi.org/10.56299/get116