THE casting couches of Hollywood may seem like a million miles away from the factories, offices and shops of Scotland.
But the scourge of sexual harassment at work is as familiar to women here as it is to A-list actresses facing predatory movie moguls, new figures have revealed.
A study by charity Zero Tolerance Scotland has found three-quarters of Scots have suffered or witnessed sexual harassment at work.
And analysis by The Sunday Post also shows that more than two employment tribunal complaints have been filed every day since 2012, where women said they suffered sexual discrimination or were treated badly, even sacked, because they were pregnant.
A damning tale, and Zero Tolerance argues these figures may only be the tip of the iceberg because so many cases go unreported.
But could the “Weinstein effect” be about to change that culture of fear about speaking out about sexual harassment?
In the weeks since top film producer Harvey Weinstein had dozens of allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour and rape, which he denies, levied against him, more examples of the problem from different walks of life have emerged.
And one leading lawyer has revealed she is already seeing an increase in reports of abuse on the back of the publicity around the Weinstein allegations.
Margaret Gribbon, of employment law specialists Bridge Litigation, said she usually dealt with two or three cases of sexual harassment a year, but had been approached by two woman in the last week alone.
The leading lawyer – who said such behaviour has been “going on for decades” – revealed she had taken a call from a potential client last week who directly referenced the Weinstein allegations.
She insisted sexual harassment affected all industries and job sectors, from professional woman to blue-collar workers.
“In my experience, women are as likely to be harassed in a law firm as they are in a chicken factory,” she said.
“The pattern to it is the alleged harasser is usually always in a position of power in a hierarchical structure. It’s an absolute abuse of power.”
Eileen Dinning, equalities officer with the Unison trade union, said that harassment at work comes from the public as well as colleagues.
“Carers are particularly vulnerable,” she said. “If they are on their own and doing a home visit they are vulnerable.
“There was a time when women became more confident about reporting that kind of behaviour but because work is more precarious for people they are scared, particularly if it’s their boss coming away with this kind of stuff.”
Ms Dinning said she had dealt with cases reported by cleaners right up to an council assistant director.
And while she admitted unions do not have a spotless record, she insisted that Unison was “extremely stringent” and would act quickly to clamp down on any sexual harassment that took place within its ranks.
More than 600 people responded to the Zero Tolerance survey, which was carried out last year.
Around 80% were woman, while 83% worked in the public sector, 9% in the third sector and 6% in the private sector.
One in 10 respondents to Zero Tolerance’s survey reported mental or physical abuse, including rape, while 74% described experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment, teasing or innuendo at work.
Rachel Adamson, co-director of the charity, said: “Many women feel unable to report gender discrimination or sexual harassment for fear of jeopardising their job security and, as our report shows, the majority of workplaces in Scotland simply do not have the processes in place to allow a woman to safely report in the first place.
“Until employers make significant progress in creating an environment free of gender-based bullying and discrimination, women will always be disadvantaged in the workplace.”
Labour MSP Jenny Marra urged politicians to use their position to highlight sexual abuse – and admitted sexist behaviour is prevalent within trade unions associated with her party.
She said: “This is an issue that is about power as much as it is about sex and those of us who are elected to parliament or are in senior jobs have a duty to remember that women in less powerful situations bear the brunt of sexist behaviour.
“Just because we are not experiencing this on a daily basis, it does not mean it isn’t happening.
“Women who have less protection – particularly in low-paid jobs and within trade unions – are experiencing that sexism on a daily basis, often quite harshly.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said Ministers had funded Rape Crisis Scotland to develop guidance for anyone subject to sexual harassment or violence at work.
They added: “There are wide-ranging laws available to deal with anyone who bullies or harasses another person and all employers are expected to take effective action against inappropriate behaviour as soon as they become aware of it.”
A Rape Crisis Scotland spokeswoman said: “Many people in touch with us speak of their experiences of sexual harassment both in the workplace and in many other contexts.
“No one should have to put up with sexual harassment at work or anywhere else – this is an abuse of power, and often criminal behaviour prosecutable under sexual offences legislation.
“It is time for widespread public education on these issues and for a zero tolerance attitude to this kind of abuse of power and routine disrespect we still see and hear about far too often.”