(Washington, DC) – Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) along with Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced the “Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act.” This bill would expand research efforts to better understand the causes and consequences of sexual harassment impacting individuals in the STEM workforce. The bill will also provide support to examine policies to reduce the prevalence and negative impacts of such harassment.
“The academic workplace, when compared to the military, private sector, and government, has the second-highest rate of sexual harassment, with 58% of women in academia experiencing sexual harassment,” said Chairwoman Johnson (D-TX). “This behavior undermines career advancement for women in critical STEM fields. This bill supports research and data collection to understand the causes, consequences, and mitigation of sexual harassment in federally funded research environments. The bill also requires Federal agencies that fund research to do their part to ensure that such funds do not go to researchers who are found to be harassers.”
“We have a responsibility to combat sexual harassment in the scientific community, both on behalf of the individuals who suffer from harassment, and on behalf of our STEM workforce as a whole,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK). “Only 23% of women who earn STEM degrees stay in STEM careers, and, sadly, a culture of harassment is one of the largest factors in our inability to retain women in the scientific workforce. I’m proud of the work our Committee has been doing to expand STEM education and professional opportunities for women, but without addressing sexual harassment we will continue to struggle to keep women in STEM careers. This legislation is a key component of our work to build a stronger and more diverse American STEM workforce, and I hope we can move quickly to pass these important policies.”