Course Corrections to Address Gender Harassment in Science

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Dr. Kate Clancy presentation on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee's consensus study report on Sexual Harassment of Women. This recording does not capture the first 10 minutes of the presentation.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:51:55

Location Taken: Reston, VA, US


 Kate Clancy: So I just want to give you some examples of general incivility versus gender


 They're both sort of general, ambiguous, but there are some interesting differences.

 General incivility would be the person who wrote me and said, "Did you really do the

 research or are you just pushing an ideology?"

 So a really subtle dig at do I have the expertise, have I really done the work, or am I just

 an activist when it comes to studying sexual harassment versus the emeritus professor of

 biology at the University of Virginia who wrote me and said, "So who did you **** to

 get up the ladder?"

 That was more gendered.

 Part of the reason it was very clearly gendered is that he went on to talk about the fact

 that this is what women do, that the only way women achieve is through sleeping their

 way up.

 That was again, very obviously contempt towards me as a woman.

 Whereas that first one was, who knows whether he would have written the same thing to a

 woman or to a man.

 I suspect he would write that to women more than men.

 Again, it was ambiguous in its intent.

 Now, I want to get straight to talking about some of the data.

 As you may know, I have a couple different data sets that I work from here that I've

 collected with my some great collaborators, some work on the field sciences, and on astronomy

 and planetary science.

 I'm also going to be talking today about some work that's under review that were a number

 of focus groups we were in with women of color science faculty.

 This study that I'm showing some of the first graphs from is the safe study that you might

 be familiar with.

 Our first paper was published in 2014.

 This surveyed over 600 folks across the field sciences.

 We asked them a couple different questions in terms of the extent to which they'd observed

 harassment in the work place; the extent to which they had experienced it directly; and

 whether or not they had ever been assaulted, or physically harassed in any way.

 We found, as you might imagine, a statistically significant difference in who had observed

 harassment, where in this case, about 75% of women and 60% of men had observed sort

 of these more gender harassment behaviors.

 Inappropriate comments at field sites.

 We coded this as gender harassment or put-downs.

 We also looked at the same thing in our astronomy and planetary science sample and found the

 same thing in terms of who had actually observed sexual harassment.

 We saw about 80% of women and a little more than 40% of men had observed sexist remarks

 in their workplace in the astronomy and planetary science sample.

 In terms of who it happens to, in our field sciences sample, we found that female trainees

 were targeted the most, and you can see my cursor.

 You can see, when looking at overall numbers, you can see 71% of women and 41% of men, but

 then when you look at the trainee level you've got 84% of women and 68% of men harassed.

 86% of women, 75% of men.

 So you can see really that trainee position, when it comes to the field sciences in particular

 it's a very vulnerable time.

 In astronomy and planetary science, we were curious not just about rank or gender.

 We wanted to add in some analyses around race.

 We compared the experiences of women of color and white women in particular, we found through

 nearly every single conceivable metric in terms of ... we asked for many different types

 of identity harassment.

 We asked about gender, gender identity, race, physical ability, mental ability/neural diversity,

 religion, transphobia, homophobia.

 Across all of those different metrics, women of color pretty much always had more harassment.

 That was looking across remarks from peers, remarks from supervisors and remarks from

 others across the workplace hierarchy.

 The next thing I want to show is who is actually perpetrating.

 We don't know this for all of our data sets because we don't always ask, but in field

 sciences we did ask at least whether or not these folks were inferior to them in the hierarchy,

 their peers, superior to them in the hierarchy, or a local community member.

 The reason we did that is that one of the things when we first started doing this work

 that people swore to us up and down is all the harassment are locals.

 They were like, "Everyone who's harassing field workers are always locals."

 Really, that's just not the case.

 In fact, about 20% of harassment for women comes from locals.

 But you can see that about 25% is coming from peers, and almost 50% from those superior

 to them in the hierarchy; and kind of similar for assault, where for women the greatest

 sources of perpetration were folks superior to them in the hierarchy.

 I think that's really interesting to point out, and actually it's a bit unusual in general

 in the sexual harassment literature.

 I just want to show you, this is a grad school sample from just a couple years ago.

 A large R1 institution that showed that generally speaking, sexual harassment of women and men

 is more likely to come from fellow students than from faculty or staff.

 Again, that faculty and staff number is still pretty high.

 For women, it still means that 40% of their harassment is coming from faculty or staff.

 For men it's still 20% or more than that.

 These are still significant numbers, but the reason the field is different, and I imagine

 those who conduct field work who are listening can empathize with or understand this, is

 that field sites and field schools are, people treat them a lot differently than they treat

 other professional workplaces.

 Field schools and field sites and field stations, these are workplaces.

 There are staff who come and help with food, or there are staff that are technicians.

 There are faculty, students, all sorts of people who are there conducting research.

 Yet, even though they are there to do research, there's a certain way in which people seem

 to think it's more appropriate to transgress certain boundaries because they don't treat

 it like it's a professional workplace.

 The question is why they so often think what happens in the field stays in the field.

 It's one of the lines that we coded for the most frequently in a lot of our interviews.

 Why is it some many people think what happens in the field sites in the field, that we're

 allowed to be silent about what happens there?

 And that we're allowed to transgress professional boundaries that we know better about when

 we're back on campuses.

 Again, that's not to say these things aren't happening on campuses, but at field sites

 we think we see more vertical forms of harassment and possibly more sexual forms of harassment

 than in a lot of other science workplaces.

 Which just means different things we have to really think about depending on what particular

 context we're trying to deal with.

 The question is is it really that bad.

 Folks who've been in the sciences for several decades, might be able to notice that there

 are ways in which things have gotten better women and female identified folk.

 And that maybe to them there's less harassment.

 Maybe to them there are more women here than there were before.

 Anyway, isn't this just something we all need to handle because there are just sexist, racist

 people in the world, and dealing with them is just part of dealing with life?

 I would say that that's not an okay perspective to hold.

 I just want to walk you through a few more important data points to make this point.

 One, this is another analysis that a couple different papers have showed a really interesting

 relationship where, I think a lot of us would assume that come ons are worse in terms of

 personal and professional outcomes than put downs.

 Because, come ons, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexualized behaviors towards you

 feel really demoralizing and awful and scary.

 Put downs, come on, just taking your coffee mug, leaving you off an email, sabotaging

 some equipment.

 Those all feel terrible, but I think people really think that because they're so small

 they're not that big a deal.

 But it turns out that when you include variables like perpetrator power and frequency, also,

 actually I didn't include in the slide, variety, it really moderates the relationship between

 the type of harassment and the severity of personal and professional outcomes.

 Put downs, if someone does something to you that's a put down, just once, you probably

 move on, it's not a big deal.

 In fact we probably all put down each other from time to time, and it's often in fact


 When they happen just once, it's not a big deal.

 If the person who's doing it to you has more power than you, and I'm not just talking about

 positional power like your boss.

 But if they have more power than you because they're a man and you're woman.

 If they have more power than you because they are straight and you're gay.

 If they have more power because they're cisgender and you're transgender.

 Those are other forms of perpetrator power.

 If they're frequent.

 The thing is, is put downs, the ones that are minor that we all just accidentally do

 from time to time, and whatever, we usually try to notice and apologize.

 I'm talking about the ones that happen to people all the time.

 Five times, 10 times, every single day.

 That kind of frequency, that really does change things.

 A lot of women in the work place actually do experience highly frequent puts downs by

 people with more power than them.

 Even if that positional power isn't always there.

 In terms of the actual consequences of these kinds of behaviors, there's a couple of different

 consequences I want to talk about it.

 The first is, in that astronomy and planetary science sample, one of the things that we

 asked everybody, all respondents to the sample.

 They asked them two key questions.

 We asked them first, and this is just over the last five years since they took the survey.

 It was administered in 2015.

 We are asking from 2011 to 2015, not 1960 to 2015.

 Just in the last five years.

 Have you ever been made to feel unsafe in your workplace?

 Was one of the questions we asked.

 Another was, have you ever skipped professional events because you felt unsafe?

 40% of the women of color in that sample felt unsafe in their workplace, in their current

 position just in the last five years.

 I hope that you'll maybe sit with that for just a moment and think about how many women

 of color you know.

 There's probably a lot.

 And think about what it means that almost half of them feel unsafe at work.

 I feel fairly safe extending these data to other science workplaces, given some of the

 qualitative data that we've done with this group so far.

 If anything it might actually be worse in some places.


 27% of white women said that they felt unsafe.

 And then, 28% of women of color felt unsafe because of race.

 These are profound, ginormous effects.

 To actually feel unsafe at work.

 Again, we're all scientists.

 Or we're staff that are supportive of scientists.

 We are working in a science environment.

 Many, if not most of us, are here because we feel a certain calling.

 We're doing this work because we have trouble imagining doing anything else.

 We're doing this work because maybe we can imagine doing a lot of other things that we'd

 be happier doing, but this is the one that we think is going to make the biggest change

 in the world.

 There's some reason that we're doing this work because we feel driven to do it, because

 we want to make change, because it makes us happy.

 Now imagine what it's like for women of color scientists, for about half of them, basically

 have them taken away because they can't even feel safe at work.

 Now one of the other things that we found, like I said, there was this other question:

 have you ever actually skipped professional events?

 And a significant amount of women across both of those samples did.

 Women of color and white women skipped professional events.

 Close to 20% in fact for women of color and 12% for white women.

 It was not significantly different between those two groups.

 The percentages were pretty similar.

 Again, I want you to think about, if somebody is at work that's supposed to make them happy,

 a job that they are there to do because they love it and because they want to make change,

 and they want to make the world better, and they want to advance American science and

 get their name out there and discover something amazing, yet, their workplace exhausts them

 so much that they just go home at the end of the day.

 They don't stay for that extra working.

 Or they avoid that seminar because of that one person that always makes them feel like


 Or they don't go to this other event because it means plastering on a smile for another

 two hours after plastering on a smile all day and dealing with the daily instabilities

 and indignities of being a woman of color in the sciences.

 I want you to think through what that means, what that means to miss all of those things


 Finally I want to share with you just a little bit more data about this, that's to show you

 the ways in which, again, what seem like minor things are actually major.

 Here are better and worse outcomes.

 Actually the Office of Communications slide is covering...there we go, now I can see what

 was on the slide.

 There's a couple different slides from this particular 2005 paper, but I'm just going

 to talk about one.

 You can see better and worse outcomes.

 The farther down you get on this axis, the worse the outcomes.

 This is a job related outcomes with one variable that was looking at an aggregate variable,

 looking at a number of different things.

 They're looking at absenteeism, job turnover intentions, satisfaction with your job, a

 bunch of those types of things.

 What's really notable here is that where do you see the largest jump from better outcomes

 to worse outcomes?

 It's when you go from everything's totally fine to incivilities.

 Incivilities, those things that we think of are not that big a deal because they're just

 little, they're ambiguous, who knows why people are doing them?

 But those kinds of things that create a work environment, that's where you see the largest

 jump in terms of job related outcomes.

 Then gender harassment, and then only when you add in sexualized harassment do you see

 a little bit more of a jump.

 Again, notice this is where the hugest decline in outcomes occurs.

 Those things that we think of as little, they are not little.

 What are some other compounding effects?

 I talked about frequency and perpetrator power.

 But in particular, like I mentioned, we've run some focused groups with female science

 faculty of color and that work is in revisions, but I just want to show you the overall model

 that we ended up creating, and a grounded approach after we coded and recoded those

 focus groups about a zillion times.

 It's that we found that social context is one of the things that affects women of color

 scientists experiences of incivility and harassment.

 The reason this is notable is I want you to think about your workplace, whatever department

 or office or field station you are calling in from.

 Think about how many women of color there are in your workplace.

 Are there zero?


 A handful?

 In the sciences these numbers are typically very low.

 Now I want to think about whatever your identity happens to be.

 If you are a woman of color yourself, or if you've ever been in this situation where you

 are the only of your identity in a room.

 For instance, in this sample, something that happened to one of our respondents was she

 is a woman of color in the sciences, that's who we sampled.

 She was in a faculty meeting where someone said, "You know, maybe we really need to start

 thinking about this diversity thing, and start trying to hire more diverse people."

 First she's thinking to herself, "Oh good, maybe the folks in my department are finally

 starting to get it."

 Somebody else in the department said, "Yeah, but really can't sacrifice excellence."

 She's thinking to herself, "Well, I'm a woman of color and I'm excellent."

 It rendered her completely invisible in that moment.

 What it said was there's no such thing as a diverse hire who's also excellent.

 When you are in that kind of moment where you hear something that's racist or sexist

 or rude and there's nobody else in that room that looks like you, who do you look to say

 "Wow that was messed up?"

 Who do you check your thinking with?

 As a white woman in anthropology, I have a lot of other white women I can look to.

 When something happens in a faculty meeting that I think is messed up, I immediately can

 look around in the room and be like, "oh, there's that person," and you do that thing

 where you open your eyes a little bit.

 You do that little "whoa that was messed up," and they make that same face back at you,

 "whoa that was messed up," and then you get a little information.

 I'm not crazy.

 That was a messed up thing.

 What we found in our sample was there were two ways that women of color ended up going.

 The women who were isolated, who did not have anyone to look at.

 Something crappy happened to them or happened in their environment and they had no one to

 check their thinking with.

 They had what we call internalized gas lighting.

 They had no way to check their thinking and eventually all those messages that they weren't

 good enough, that they don't belong, that they're the affirmative action hire, that

 they're crappy at their jobs, it became internalized, and they eventually believed, "Maybe I'm actually

 kind of crappy.

 Maybe I don't belong."

 They ended up having this "is it me?"

 thing that we ended up coding quite a bit.

 They would say things like, over and multiple times, they'd say, "I don't know.

 I don't know.

 I don't know.

 Why did they do this.

 I don't know.

 Is it me?

 What's wrong with me?

 Why would they act this way towards me?

 There's no reason to act the way that they're acting."

 Those kinds of things they said over, and over, and over again.

 The women of color who had people to talk to, there was at least one other woman of

 color in their department.

 There were some people that they could hop on the phone with.

 They had a social network on Facebook that they could talk to.

 They were able to check their thinking and develop a meta awareness.

 They were able to say, "Wow, this is not that I suck at my job.

 It's that you suck and you're a jerk."

 So they were able to develop meta awareness and a recognition.

 Not "I don't know," but "I know and I understand the deeper structural issues that are leading

 to you acting this way.

 I can externalize it and understand it's not about me."

 Let me give you two brief examples from this.

 In terms of the isolation example, one of our respondents said, "They were just so angry

 at me for no reason.

 At least I couldn't think, just like you said, maybe things you cannot prove.

 Maybe they think, 'They can't be treating you like this because you're a woman and an

 Asian, and you look there's no bigger guy behind you.'

 Even so, I just don't understand it.

 There's no need to be rude.

 Unless I did something to them, there's no reason."

 Now I want to give an example of a woman of color who was teaching, and a white man in

 her class got really mad at her about a grade, and he got up in her face and was yelling

 at her.

 In fact, he followed her.

 He yelled at her and followed her all the way back to her office.

 But the one good thing is, there were other women of color, her students, who were also

 in that class, and they saw it happen, and they followed them to this faculty member's


 In fact, they stayed outside the office for the duration of this guy's tirade about his


 They texted her the whole time, "Are you okay?

 Are you okay?

 Do you want us to call campus police?"

 And this woman said of this experience: "If I didn't have those other female students

 that were there, I don't think I would have - I think I might have left the office saying,

 'What did I say or do that caused him to get angry?'"

 I just want you to sit for a minute, especially those of you who maybe have more privileged

 identities who are listening about how many times you've ever had someone act really rudely

 to you, and whether or not you understood why it's happening.

 Because for people who have underrepresented identities, we spend most of our time trying

 to figure out why people are treating us like crap.

 Because we get treated like crap a lot.

 Sometimes it's really ambiguous.

 Sometimes it's really obvious.

 But it's so frequent, that it can't help but get under our skin sometimes.

 And so the fact that even in this incredibly obvious example where this white man is yelling

 at her face and following her to her office, she still, instead of understanding this guy

 is a jerk, she still was questioning it.

 The only reason she ended up being able to externalize it is because of those brave students.

 Now I just want to briefly go through some course corrections.

 Some ways in which institutions tend to address things, and the way I'd rather them do it


 First, the ways in which institutions get off course is that they are overly focused

 on the sexual harassment.

 Again, I hope that I have beaten to death the idea that sexual harassment is not about


 It's more about gender, and it's about put downs and contempt.

 Here's one of my favorite quotes about this from my colleague Lilia Cortina, she says

 "Sexual harassment is less about conquest, more about contempt.

 It's less about lechery, more about a**holery."

 This is a really important concept.

 And the words make it funny, which makes it really easy to remember.

 Less of a conquest, more of a contempt.

 Less about lechery, more about a**holery.

 What can we do instead?

 We can focus on promoting compassion in collegial behavior.

 We can focus on sanctioning cruelty and discrimination.

 And we can consider common practices and whether they actually contribute to an environment

 of harassment.

 Here's what I mean by that.

 What are your practices for seminars?

 Is it typical for people to interrupt?

 Is it typical for people save their questions for the end?

 How kindly do they ask those questions?

 Are there ways in which you actually encourage trainees to ask the first questions at a seminar?

 Is there one crotchety guy who always asks the same question that's really about him?

 To what extent, if you know that your seminar process is kind of broken, have you ever done

 anything about it and said, "You know what, instead of making it so that the senior faculty

 just interrupt and ask what they want and make everything about them, what if we have

 a rule that the first two questions have to be from trainees?

 What if we made it so that we encouraged people at the start of seminars and reminded them,

 'Hey, we've decided we're going to change our seminar format, and we're not going to

 have people interrupt throughout the seminar, but instead ask questions at the end.'"

 What happens if you actually just start to change some of those things in really tiny


 What happens if when you see somebody do something wrong, you actually sanction them in some

 small way?

 And by sanctioning I mean as mild as have a conversation with them.

 Just today one of my colleagues at Illinois texted me.

 She's pregnant, and she's towards the end of her pregnancy, and is experiencing some

 symptoms around the fact that she's a bit high risk.

 So she can't teach the last two weeks of class.

 She prepared everything for the person who's filling in for her and made it as easy as


 She did all the work to make things ready for him.

 Then he says to one of her colleagues, who also happens to be her friend, "God, I wish

 I could get pregnant, because then I'd get to take a two-week vacation too."

 Which, as someone who's been pregnant twice and has two children myself, I found this

 to be a pretty appalling statement, not to mention illegal.

 Now in this moment, it turns out that this man who heard this sexist and discriminatory,

 and technically it's gender harassment, discriminatory remark from the visiting assistant professor,

 instead of calling him out on it, he just let it slide and then complained to my pregnant


 What he should have done in that moment was say "Wow, what exactly do you mean by that?

 Do you think pregnancy's a vacation?"

 Or, "Do you think that's an okay thing to say to me?"

 It's a really easy intervention.

 Or you could just say, "Wow, I'm surprised that you would make that statement."

 There are really mild ways that you can intervene when you hear someone something that is sexist.

 With worst of your transgressions there are more serious sanctions.

 Next off course: institutions are overly focused on legal solutions.

 So I want to give you a quote from an article on the culture of compliance and Title IX.

 This is Joanna Grossman, and she says: "The rules of employer liability for harassment

 are calculated to ensure that employers adopt basic policies and procedures with respect

 to workplace harassment, not, surprisingly, to ensure that they actually prevent it."

 You have to ask yourself, are the kinds of policies we have in place at USGS, are they

 about adopting policies that ensure that they understand that these things exist?

 Are they doing this just to comply with things?

 Or are they doing things that are really taking a look at culture and trying to produce real

 change and prevent sexual harassment.

 We need to take more proactive measures to address culture and climate.

 These are two different things.

 Climate is kind of like if you're just putting your finger on the pulse of your workplace

 today, which can vary.

 It's somewhere like USGS.

 It can vary with who's in office, what politicians are feeling like picking up science today.

 Those kinds of things.

 It could also be the weather, it could be an economic downturn, it could be a gain of

 funding, it could be someone retiring that you're really going to miss.

 Those kinds of smaller things can effect change.

 Oh, my webcam got disconnected for some reason.

 I'm almost done talking, so as long as you can still hear me, I'm just going to fix the

 camera after I'm done giving the talk.

 Taking proactive measures to address culture and climate.

 There we go.

 Focus on sustained and specific analysis of your workplace.

 Climate surveys are a great way to do that.

 Start addressing systemic problems you know about now.

 The thing that I wanted to say that I forgot about to climates, having your finger on the

 pulse of things right now.

 Culture is the more deep seeded stuff, and historical context, the cultural context,

 the slower moving things that you know are systemic and broad.

 There are probably some things that you know are problems right now that you feel helpless

 to do anything about.

 You need to start thinking about what you can do today and not wait for a climate survey

 or a task force or a committee.

 Just start doing something right now.

 The other is, again, to consider sections below the legal threshold for bad actors.

 This visiting assistant professor who said the sexist thing today which literally just

 happened today.

 Part of me wants to report that guy to Title IX.

 Because what he did was gender discrimination.

 It was a messed up thing to say.

 And it made my friend, who is untenured, feel terrible, and feel like, "So that's how this

 guy feels.

 Who knows how many other people in my department think that I'm just slacking off as a pregnant


 But at the same time that's probably not going to produce real change, immediately reporting

 him to Title IX.

 What would make more sense would be having a conversation with him.

 Not necessarily my friend, the pregnant person.

 But considering a larger community response to something like that.

 Having people actually confront him and talk to him about, "Hey turns out what you said

 is not cool."

 Overly deferential to tradition and honoring the past.

 Here I want to give you a quote.

 This is another project of mine with Kelly Cross and some other folks and women of color

 in engineering.

 This is actually about a statue that just got erected a couple of years ago at Illinois

 of Quinn the quintessential engineer.

 And it's the first statue of a woman I think that we have on the entire campus.

 And in particular, what's really amazing of course is that it's representing engineering,

 because all of the other engineer things are horrible phallic statues.

 So this is an actually female statue.

 So this undergrad says: "We're going to take pictures on the statue

 because we're the quintessential engineer."

 So all of a sudden, I saw quite a few of my friends like that became their profile picture,

 and there's such a confidence in it and a pride in it.

 Here's an image of the quintessential engineer.

 Or Quinn as she's being called.

 Inspirational, innovative, confident, you can see all these words on the bottom.

 This was a real big deal when this was created, and you can see all these folks who, even

 on this terrible rainy day, came to see her being unveiled.

 This is right in front of our engineering library.

 These kinds of images are needed to counteract some of the narratives that we have about

 the incredibly macho culture that we have in the sciences.

 I use Indiana Jones, because frankly, a lot of the folks that I've interviewed for my

 research explicitly invoke him.

 They say, "The dudes at my field site all think they're Indiana Jones."

 What does that mean?

 That means aside from maybe not liking snakes, he's a pretty dudely guy.

 He's powerful, he's strong, he gets the girl.

 He's a colonizer.

 He steals stuff that doesn't belong to him.

 He does all these things just because he wants to and because he thinks he's always in the


 Another way to put this is the way Jennifer Bridal does who also studies workplaces.

 She calls this the masculinity contest.

 A course correction would be to move from tradition and honoring these past ways of

 thinking about field work, past ways of thinking about science, and move towards inclusion.

 So replace racist mascots, replace sexist cheers, replace exclusive traditions with

 new and inclusive ones.

 Are there any things that you do at your field stations, at your offices, at your departments

 that you do because of tradition?

 And is that tradition dog whistling to the people who are currently in your department

 that really what matters is the people who started your department?

 Think about the fact that a lot of institutes of higher ed were formed as slave labor.

 A lot of early science workplaces did not allow women to work in them.

 When you honor tradition, you sometimes honor places that explicitly excluded some of the

 people who are in your workplace today.

 We need to fix sexist fraternity, field site, and professional society cultures.

 So the bro culture that exists at a lot of field stations and field sites, we need to

 think about whether or not that's something that's actually inclusive and makes everyone

 feel welcome.

 That includes the dudes.

 Not all men really like being bros.

 Then we also need to address sex and race imbalances in leadership.

 We need to overall be changing the fact that science is so male dominated and so white


 This needs to happen not just at the trainee stage where it's actually been getting increasingly

 inclusive for some time, but a lot of those folks are not staying in science because of

 the negative experiences that they face, particularly around gender and racial harassment.

 That's why we don't have those leaders.

 Finally, in terms of being off course, we need to stop trying to root out bad apples


 What I mean by this is one of the things that we often do is hire a reporting system for

 HR, for Title IX.

 All of them require that a victim decide to come forward to report a single perpetrator.

 What we need to ask ourselves is do we really want to build and rely on a structure that

 re-traumatizes victims and forces them to bear the responsibility for bringing perpetrators

 to justice?

 Is that really the right model?

 So if we can break out of that framing a little bit.

 I want to share a quote from a book that I've really enjoyed and that you really should

 read too by Zoe Quinn, called Crash Override.

 This is more about online harassment, but trust me, everything she does in that book

 is in line with best practices in terms of the science of sexual harassment.

 She should be a researcher of the science of sexual harassment, she is amazing.

 She says: "Therein lies the most common trap we fall into when trying to make the internet

 a safer place: framing it as a war of good people versus bad people instead of looking

 at acceptable and unacceptable ways to treat each other.

 'Good people' get off the hook for doing bad things, while 'bad people' aren't considered

 worth understanding or empathizing with and aren't encouraged to progress, evolve, and

 do better.

 "The question isn't 'What the hell is wrong with those people?'

 It's 'What the hell is wrong with us?'"

 If we can move away always from a single perpetrator and a single victim, and instead look for

 patterns and systems and become more accountable to them and to the ways in which we perpetuate

 them or sometimes cause harm ourselves, we'll actually create a much better culture.

 We need to focus on whole barrels, not just bad apples.

 We need to eliminate male domination in terms of overall numbers and in terms of those in


 We need to reduce tolerance for harassment.

 We can't just see it and then think it's okay to let it happen.

 Bystander training and perspective taking training are really great ways to work on


 We can develop trauma informed communication policies if we understand that most women

 are sexually harassed.

 About 75% in most workplaces.

 Then that means that if we create communication strategies that are based entirely on what

 general counsel says and not on the right thing to say, then we are causing harm even

 with our basic communication to our workers.

 Again, we need to use evidence-based training, like I said.

 Bystander and perspective training.

 I want to end with one last thought.

 I was looking up the mission statement for the USGS.

 It's: "The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe

 and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters;

 manage water; biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality

 of life."

 That is a beautiful mission.

 That is what you are serving by being a member of the U.S. Geological Survey.

 That's science for a changing world.

 What a lovely tag line.

 That kind of mission, I'd be really proud to be part of an institution where that is

 their mission.

 You need to ask yourself, is that the mission that we live every day if we create a climate

 where people do not feel safe to work, where people don't think that they can bring their

 best selves, where people don't think that they can be honest with each other, where

 they can't manage conflict in a way that's rigorous and productive, and instead they

 manage conflict in a way that's avoidance or nasty?

 I want to introduce the idea of maybe thinking through what it would look like to live your

 mission kind of more like a kindergartner.

 I'll give you an example, just this weekend I was over at my sister's house and her son

 is now a first grader.

 But this peace builder's pledge is something that got introduced in kindergarten last year

 to him.

 It says, "I am a Peace Builder."

 They say this every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance.

 "I pledge to praise people, to give up put-downs, to seek wise people, to notice and speak up

 about hurts I have caused."

 Think about how that's taking responsibility for yourself.

 "To right wrongs.

 I will build peace at home, at school, and in my community each day."

 I think for all of you, you should think what should be my peace builder's pledge as a member

 of USGS?

 Thank you.

 I'm going to unshare my screen so I that I can start to take questions.

 Tina Roberts: Thank you very much Dr. Clancy.

 That was a wonderful presentation.

 If anyone wants to ask questions, please send them through the Q&A section to the host.

 Do not send them to Dr. Clancy because she won't see them.

 Right now I don't see any in the queue, but we can hold out for a few minutes to see if

 any pop in there.

 Okay, Dr. Clancy, we have one.

 What is the best way to address put downs in the moment?

 Kate Clancy: It really depends on the put down.

 And it depends on who else is there.

 I would really encourage you to look into getting some bystander training for your various,

 and I don't mean a webinar that everyone signs onto that they just learn about.

 Though that's a good first step.

 But some real in person role playing.

 I'm not going to remember this but a bunch of B's that you learn when you learn the bystander


 But the one thing I will say is one of the better things to do is not necessarily to

 address the person who is causing harm in the moment, but instead to check in with the


 Because that still signals to the person causing harm that what you did isn't cool.

 If I had give you an example.

 The pregnancy example that happened today.

 Since it was just two people, and if that person had said that to me, the "Oh, I wish

 I could be pregnant so that I could just skip two weeks of work."

 I would have said something like, "That's a really interesting thing to say."

 And just left it and see what they say about it.

 That signals that I'm not okay with it and it signals that this is not something that

 is okay in our workplace.

 Now if they double down, of course that's a broader conversation.

 If I overheard that conversation or someone had said that in front of me to my friend,

 I probably wouldn't talk to the perpetrator, I would probably talk directly to the victim.

 I would go to my friend and say, "Oh, hey how are you feeling today?"

 Then I would completely change the conversation.

 I probably wouldn't think of anything particularly clever in the moment.

 And I want you to know that being a better bystander and being a peace builder is not

 actually about coming up with the cleverest thing.

 It's just about intervening in whatever clumsy way you want.

 One other example, my daughter was dealing with some stuff at school that was really

 bothering her.

 This is several years ago now, this is when she was in second grade, my older daughter.

 So I talked through and I did some role playing with her.

 I said, "Okay, if you want to change the topic, when you don't like people teasing you."

 It's actually that she's a very slow eater and her friends at school started teasing

 her for how slowly she was eating her lunch.

 She told them she didn't like it, it kind of made them double down and tease her more.

 Instead I said, "What would it look like to change the topic?"

 What could she say to change the topic?

 And she paused and she said, "Well what does that have to do with pink, fluffy unicorns

 dancing on rainbows?"

 And that became her intervention.

 That's what she said when her friends would do it.

 And it just completely deflected it.

 Then, after I think one or two more times of them doing it, they stopped because they

 didn't get a reaction out of her.

 Figuring out, first how to figure out if the victim's okay.

 Second, how to potentially address the behavior, if possible.

 But again, deflecting and protecting the victim is the actually the number one concern, and

 that in itself indicates that you don't think that what the perpetrator did is okay.

 Any other questions?

 Tina Roberts: Okay, another one.

 Do any of your studies evaluate women to women?

 Another question was how do you address instabilities in harassment that go on from a woman to another


 Kate Clancy: We don't tend to ask the identity of perpetrators.

 So with the exception of that one study where we basically ask, well, we do in both of those

 studies, what that person's rank is, we don't ask gender.

 But I will say that across the literature, something like 92% of perpetrators are male.

 I want to first put it in that context, that the majority of perpetrators are male.

 That's something frankly men have to reckon with and think about.

 But that 8% that are women, when women or men are subjected to sexual harassment by

 women, especially gender harassment, I know it feels like more of a betrayal.

 If anything, I know that when these things have been perpetrated against me, it feels

 even more acutely hurtful.

 It's like, "You're supposed to be on my side.

 You're supposed to be helping me, not making things harder."

 I do understand that those things are hard.

 As someone who's directly experienced them.

 But I do want to put it in a broader context that generally speaking, and frankly this

 is across even workplaces that are female dominated, like nursing, men are still the

 primary perpetrators.

 Tina Roberts: Next one.

 Could you talk more about communication strategies that could be effective and not re-traumatizing?

 How do we discuss the fact that bad things have happened but not violate privacy concerns

 or re-traumatize?

 Kate Clancy: Sure.

 I'll give you an example from my university.

 Something that you probably know has happened across a lot of universities immediately after

 Trump was elected, and I'm sorry to give a political example, but this is the best one

 I have, is that there was a huge increase in hate crimes.

 Something that was really upsetting that happened in my own lab is that the morning after the

 Trump election one of my students wears a hijab, was on her bus on her way to school,

 just like the general transit bus.

 She started feeling someone jerking on her.

 At first she thought her backpack had just got caught in something.

 Then she realized only because another man on the bus started going, "Hey man, that's

 not cool.

 That's not cool."

 That there was a man yanking on the back of her hijab trying to pull it off her head.

 And it was only thankfully because a few other folks on the bus said, "Hey man, that's not

 cool, stop," that she was able to get out of the situation safely.

 You probably know of other similar examples.

 There was a massive increase in hate crimes, and it was a really upsetting thing that happened

 to a lot of people, many of them those that we personally know.

 The way that my university chose to handle this was by writing an email that looked like

 a lawyer had written it that basically said, "We are sorry that these bad things are happening

 to some of you, but we protect speech on this campus, and we believe in free speech, so

 if you have a problem with some of the bad speech happening, you should address it with

 more speech."

 Because one of the other things that was happening was chalkenings.

 If you're familiar with the fact that some alt-right folks were encouraging folks to

 go and write hateful things using chalk.

 Around our Latino/Latina studies program people were writing "Build the Wall," "Go Home,"

 things like that all over that building.

 If you can imagine being someone who's had hate speech perpetrated against you and have

 your place of work or your place of study tell you, "Hey that's just part of free speech,

 and the way for you to combat it is for you to talk back to them."

 When you had your hijab almost ripped off, when you are told to go home when the United

 States is your home, that's not a really great answer.

 That's the lawyers answer, but it's not a great answer.

 Instead showing more compassion, showing more direct support.

 Showing more validation and acknowledgment.

 I also think that communications that comes from...and you can Google this.

 You can look up trauma informed communication.

 There are trauma informed communication strategies that people can learn about.

 The other things you can just do is if an institution is speaking from their values,

 it means sometimes making the call that isn't just about protecting them from a legal perspective.

 There are times when your values tell you to do the hard thing not the safe thing.

 More universities have to decide, and players of higher ed and institutions of research,

 have to make decisions that are more consistent with their values.

 Sometimes that means that they're going to be hard.

 I just think that, that for me, is also true for the way that they communicate with the

 people that live and work in their spaces.

 Tina Roberts: Next question.

 They start with "very informative talk," and I just want to say, Dr. Clancy, that there

 were 670 participants, so a lot of people tuned in, and there are a lot of questions

 that I don't think we'll hit them all.

 A lot of people want me to express to you how appreciative they are, that it was an

 excellent talk, and everyone thanks you.

 I wanted to be sure to say that.

 Kate Clancy: Thank you so much.

 I'm sorry I lost the video at the end.

 I've been trying to figure it out as we're talking and I don't know what happened.

 Tina Roberts: No worries.

 No worries.

 This next question is, what is the most effective first step...we've talked a lot about the

 issues and the course corrections.

 This person wants to know what the most effective first step you can recommended that a science

 center within the USGS can take to reduce put downs?

 Kate Clancy: The first thing would be to have a conversation about it.

 Hold a town hall meeting.

 Or hold a bunch of small group meetings.

 It really depends on the culture of your sector.

 If it's a really small one, and there's only five of you, and you feel safe, and you think

 you'd feel comfortable just sitting down and all five of you talking.

 That's really different than if it's a place that has 100 people and is really cliquish.

 It depends on the culture of your space.

 But you need to figure out how as quickly as possible to start talking about it.

 If there are ways in which you want to just create an online survey that just has some

 open response places, so that people can anonymously share their thoughts.

 That's one way to get them talking about it.

 I really would encourage actual direct conversation.

 If it's possible, again, depending on the culture, you might need to get people who

 are in the room where their bosses are not in the room.

 Things like that.

 You might have to think creatively.

 But until you can start to identify what people feel that is making them uncomfortable and

 what they want to do about it, I feel like that's kind of what you have to do.

 The other thing is you know your culture better than anybody.

 If you see the worst stuff happens at after hours events with drinking, for instance.

 Not that alcohol causes these things to happen, but because people believe it makes them permissive,

 so then they act more badly around it, which is actually super interesting from a psychological

 perspective, stop having those events.

 You just have to stop.

 If there are certain things you know that lead to bad behavior, stop them.

 If there are certain things that you know, just the way they always go feels out of your

 control, like whatever your equivalent of a faculty meeting would be always goes terribly,

 you have to think with the leadership about how can we start to have a conversation about

 how we need to change things?

 It's kind of like the extended example I gave around how you can change the culture of how

 seminars are given at your workplace.

 Tina Roberts: One I'm getting a lot of is can you please say again the name of the book

 and the author that you referenced?

 Kate Clancy: The book?

 Tina Roberts: I think it was, I want to say it was the one you said was about harassment

 on the Internet I believe.

 Kate Clancy: Oh yeah, gosh yes.

 Zoe Quinn, Crash Override.

 It's a great book.

 Tina Roberts: Next question.

 How long would you say it takes to truly change the culture in an organization regarding these


 Do you think there are ways to speed it up?

 Kate Clancy: The fastest way is to have leadership that is really bought in.

 I can't answer the first questions in terms of how long.

 Some places can change things really fast, and some it feels insurmountable.

 But I can say that the fastest ones are the ones where there's leadership buy-in and where

 the leadership is really committed to doing it.

 People who have out-there ideas who can go to the leadership and say, I have this really

 wacky idea for how we can make things better.

 That the leadership says let's go for it.

 Those kinds of leaders who are role models, who live the spirit of change, who want to

 see bottom up solutions, that's when things move quickly.

 Because then people believe that they might actually get listened to.

 They believe that their ideas might gain traction and they believe that there's a chance for

 real change.

 Places where there aren't good leaders or the leaders are just like, "What's the bare

 minimum that we can do to appear that we care?"

 Frankly, those places don't change.

 And that stinks, but that's the reality.

 Tina Roberts: We'll ask one last question.

 I also want to mention that this recording will be made available later, just to keep

 your eyes out for that.

 I think many you have my email address.

 It was in the announcement that's been going out.

 This Tina Roberts-Ashby again.

 You can always contact me too later on any questions about the recording and where they

 can find it.

 The last question, did you in your research discover any data that indicates the number

 of women that leave their profession due to harassment?

 Kate Clancy: There is a literature on this.

 There's this one little three-item scale that gets put into a lot of these studies.

 We didn't do them for our current ones because we were looking at people who were still in


 But there's been a lot that's been done on the science of sexual harassment on this.

 It's called job turnover intentions, and there's a very strong relationship between people

 who answer affirmatively in terms of "Are you thinking about leaving your job?"

 And folks that actually do leave their job.

 This idea of job turnover intentions is a pretty robust one.

 In terms of the numbers of folks, we don't have a good sense because frankly we do a

 terrible job of tracking these kinds of data.

 And it's really hard to capture people who've left, and not a lot of institutions do exist

 surveys with, say, grad students who leave grad school before their finished, and they

 certainly don't do exit surveys with the folks who have PhDs and then have trouble securing

 post docs, or post docs who have trouble securing their next research position.

 All of the ways in which fall out of science are places we do not an adequate job tracking.

 That said, I would say that there is...if you just look at the numbers of the fact that,

 say, in the biological sciences, we've had incredibly high representation of women in

 the trainee level for decades.

 We've been more than [inaudible] for decades, and yet we have not seen adequate change at

 the assistant, associate, or full professor level.

 You guys can look at your own institution and see something similar.

 So if you're seeing attrition of an underrepresented group as you move up your ranks at your workplace,

 I can pretty much guarantee that the reason that you're losing them is because of the

 climate and culture of your workplace, not because they just decided one day that they

 don't like what they're doing anymore.

 Tina Roberts: Again, thank you very much Dr. Clancy for your time and for an excellent


 With that, we are going to close the meeting.

 Kate Clancy: Great, thank you so much everybody.

 Tina Roberts: Thank you, take care.

 Kate Clancy: Thanks.