from the ashamed dept.
Margaret C. Hardy reports that the life sciences have recently come under fire with a study that investigated the level of sexual harassment and sexual assault of trainees in academic fieldwork environments and found that 71% of women and 41% of men respondents experienced sexual harassment, while 26% of women and 6% of men reported experiencing sexual assault. The research team also found that within the hierarchy of academic field sites surveyed, the majority of incidents were perpetrated by peers and supervisors. "More often it is the men of one’s own field team, one’s co-workers, who violate their female colleagues," writes A. Hope Jahren:
There is a fundamental and culturally learned power imbalance between men and women, and it follows us into the workplace. The violence born of this imbalance follows us also. We would like to believe that it stops short of following us into the laboratory and into the field — but it does not. I listen to my colleagues talk endlessly about recruiting more women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, and postulate what the barriers might be. Sexual assault is a pernicious and formidable barrier to women in science, partly because we have consistently gifted to it our silence. I have given it 18 years of my silence and I will not give it one day more.
Many of us work in fields related to this study - what are your experiences?
Written in a New York Times article and summarily paraphrased here,
Elissa Shevinsky can pinpoint the moment when she felt that she no longer belonged. She was at a friend's house watching the live stream of the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon, when she saw that it opened with two men who developed an app called Titstare. After some banter, one of Titstare's developers proudly proclaimed, "This is the breast hack ever."
Ms. Shevinsky felt pushed to the edge. Women who enter fields dominated by men often feel this way. "It's a thousand tiny paper cuts," is how Ashe Dryden, a programmer who now consults on increasing diversity in technology, described working in tech. Women in tech like Shevinsky and Dryden advocate working to change the tech culture from inside-out, but other women like Lea Verou write that,
' women-only conferences and hackathons cultivate the notion that women are these weak beings who find their male colleagues too intimidating...As a woman, I find it insulting and patronizing to be viewed that way.'
This all being hot on the heels of engineer Julie Ann Horvath's departure from Github as a result of similar concern.
Any of you care to address your own personal experiences or opinions regarding the subject matter; as well as the accuracy of the articles' stories compared to the industry-at-large?