A new report shows that women staffers in a major British ambulance service were forced into giving sexual favors and watching pornography at work.
The female paramedics working in the South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) were called “fresh meat” when they start the job, with male colleagues often asking for sexual favors, The Sun newspaper revealed in a report on Wednesday.
The independent probe showed that SWASFT was mainly dominated by a “boys club” mentality, where sexual banter was "commonplace” and interviewees recounted repeated cases of inappropriate and abusive behavior against them.
Female employees also said managers threatened them if they refused to offer sexual favors, telling them they would get "spanked".
The respondents to the inquiry also said that managers “openly” flirted with new employees in an attempt to exert power and control.
“It was made clear to me that if I wanted to progress my career there were sexual favors that were required,” said one paramedic.
“Nights out, weekends away. You do as we want you to.”
A 2017 staff survey at the National Health Service (NHS), which is Britain’s dominant health provider organization, found that 24 percent of NHS ambulance staff had been subject to bullying or harassment.
Harassment and abusive behavior have even caused suicides and self-harm among the female medical staff in Britain. Some staffs at SWASFT confirmed such links existed.
“It is impossible to connect these directly to alleged bullying/inappropriate behavior, although some staff we interviewed made those connections themselves,” said the report published by the Sun.