Agogino Plenary Speaker at WE18 State of Women in Engineering

Alice Agogino’s talk at SWE18 (YouTube video: WE18 State of Women in Engineering, Oct. 19, 2018) was picked up by the Associated Press with title: Half of All Women in Engineering Schools Experience Sexual Harassment. The was based on the National Academies report she co-authored: Sexual Harassment of Women – Climate, Culture and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The report has enjoyed substantial media coverage. Agogino’s talk was also covered in the press, most recently in Design World.

Quote: Dr. Agogino pointed out that organizational climate is, by far, the greatest predictor of the occurrence of sexual harassment. The two characteristics most associated with higher rates of sexual harassment are male-dominated gender ratios and leadership, and an organizational climate that communicates tolerance of sexual harassment. Agogino provided four recommendations for institutions to prevent harassment:

  1. Integrate values of diversity, inclusion and respect into the policies and procedures.
  2. Change the power dynamics in advisor-trainee relationships.
  3. Support targets of sexual harassment by providing alternative ways to access support services, record information about an incident, and report an incident without fear of retaliation.
  4. Improve transparency and accountability to demonstrate that institutions are investigating and holding people accountable.

Photo caption: Discussing women in engineering and sexual harassment issues are (left to right) Roberta Rincon, Ph.D., senior manager of research at SWE; Peggy Layne, P.E., assistant provost for faculty development at Virginia Tech; Peter Meiksins, Ph.D., vice provost for academic programs and professor of sociology, Cleveland State University; Laura Ettinger, Ph.D., associate professor of history, Clarkson University; and Alice M. Agogino, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley.

Report Abstract: Over the last several years, revelations of sexual harassment experienced by women in workplace and in academic settings have raised urgent questions about the specific impact of this discriminatory behavior on women and the extent to which it is limiting their careers. Sexual Harassment of Womenexplores the influence of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. This report reviews the research on the extent to which women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine experience sexual harassment and examines the existing information on the extent to which sexual harassment in academia negatively impacts the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing scientific, engineering, technical, and medical careers. It also identifies and analyzes the policies, strategies and practices that have been the most successful in preventing and addressing sexual harassment in academia.

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