Programme / A Global Approach to Ending Sexual Harassment in STEMM

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Tuesday / 6 DEC

9:00 - 11:00

Side event:
A Global Approach to Ending Sexual Harassment in STEMM
Venue: Meeting Rooms 2.44-2.46

In 2018, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report that concluded that the diversity of STEMM fields had improved, but sexual harassment of women was widespread and remained a serious barrier to full inclusion. According to the report, academic science, engineering, and medicine exhibit at least four characteristics that lead to higher levels of risk for sexual harassment to occur: (1) male-dominated fields, especially in positions of power and authority; (2) an organizational tolerance for sexually harassing behavior; (3) the power dynamics in the hierarchical and dependent relationships between faculty and trainees; and (4) the isolating environments, such as field sites, in which research is often conducted. Several promising efforts have emerged that aim to combat the prevalence of sexual harassment of women. In 1999, women leaders in the United Kingdom developed a systemic initiative for gender equity called the Athena Project, and similar efforts have been established in the United States (SEA Change), Australia (SAGE), and Canada (Dimensions). In response to the 2018 report, several U.S.-based efforts have emerged, including a Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM, an initiative founded and led by AAAS, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the American Geophysical Union. This event will facilitate interactive discussion on the prevalence of sexual harassment of women in STEM fields globally, and action steps needed to combat the problem—from systemic changes to supporting individual scientists and engineers – as well as highlight the need for a more coordinated international effort.

Registration link:

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