Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Science editorial - Zero tolerance. Period.

By Bernard Wood

Earlier this month, famed astronomer Geoff Marcy's sexual harassment of female students was exposed. He has since resigned from the University of California, Berkeley, in the face of concerted pressure from peers and students. It is unconscionable for someone to use academic power to be a sexual predator, but the reality is that Marcy operated in an academic culture that turned a blind eye to such behavior.

Male professors have a special responsibility to be strong allies of the women affected by sexual misconduct. Many women who have been the target of inappropriate behavior, or have even heard of such incidents, believe that their careers will be jeopardized if they speak out. To work toward something for years, only to have it derailed by an unscrupulous superior or by malicious rumor, is a frightening prospect. Equal academic opportunity will not exist as long as individuals have to adjust their careers to avoid exposure to sexual predation. Women must be supported by their male colleagues, especially those with the greatest influence, when they speak out, make formal complaints, or press criminal charges. We should not wait for traumatized junior colleagues to demonstrate the greatest courage before those with the greatest power show any.

Read more here.

No comments:

Post a Comment