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?
(Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 22 2014, @09:27PM
Actually, if you work a normal 40-hour work week you spend less than 25% of your time on the job. Even less if you have vacation time and holidays off. As for whether you should avoid personal relationships at work, that will have to be left up to your best judgement. Sometimes working with your significant other can be great, sometimes less so. In any case, if your female co-workers want to keep their relationship with you strictly professional, I'm afraid that you will have to respect that. Trying to press the issue is career suicide.
(Score: 1) by pnkwarhall on Tuesday September 23 2014, @12:34AM
But my use of the term "personal relationships" was an intentional allusion to my own experience that many meaningful relationships, romantic or otherwise, are borne of the massive investment of time in close-quarters that we experience at our jobs. My experiences in the US Navy in the early 2000s (co-ed ships only started being common after the late 90s) have led me to believe that the current so-called "sexual harassment" trend is the growing pains of a fairly modern co-ed workplace with an ever-increasing ratio of women-to-men.
A common response to these troubles, that one should avoid personal relationships with the opposite sex in favor of a purely "professional" relationship, seem to me to be administrative knee-jerks, instead of realistic solutions.
[...]left up to your best judgement
Easier said than done, especially in romantic matters. But it will become easier with time, as the co-ed workplace matures.
Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23 2014, @06:07PM
I think the source of your confusion is that you are mistaking American cinema for real life. Much of what you see on the big screen is fiction. Even when the story is purported to be "based on a true story", the story line has often been finessed somewhat to make it more interesting for the viewing audience.
If she wants to keep it professional, I'm afraid that you don't have much choice. Ignoring her wishes on the matter will likely earn you an uncomfortable meeting with the head of your company's HR Department. Of course, you could try to gamble that she will eventually come 'round, but in my experience that is not what is likely to happen.
Yes, easier said than done, especially when it comes to romantic matters. On the other hand, I have my doubts that it will become easier as the co-ed workplace matures. The rules of the road are already being laid down now and it doesn't look good for those who want to romance where they work. Just sayin'.
BTW, thank you for your service to the nation.