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Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

  • 1.  Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-02-2019 06:22 PM

    A report just came out titled "Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine" (2018) [1] Here are the summary pages you should read now: 

    • page 170.  Findings and Conclusions.
    • Page 180. Recommendations.
    • page 187. RECOMMENDATION 15"Make the entire academic community responsible for reducing and preventing sexual harassment.

     All members of our nation's college campuses-students, trainees, faculty, staff, and administrators-as well as members of research and training sites should assume responsibility for promoting civil and respectful education, training, and work environments, and stepping up and confronting those whose behaviors and actions create sexually harassing environments." 


    [1]Source: http://nap.edu/24994    downloaded 02MAY2019

    It is time to stop explaining away our individual and collective past.
    Yesterday is gone for each and all of us.
    Together we have today and our tomorrows.
    Let us leverage them collaboratively and cooperatively.
    Replace fear with courage, turn on the lights to remove the shadows, and stand tall with one another.
    Yes, it is time for you, me, us to transition from empathy to proactive leadership.

    Civil engineers need to be leaders in putting a stop to those behaviors, out loud, and visibly!

    Please share your thoughts on the above report, and suggest specific actions individuals in private and public organizations and institutions can take to put a stop to the harassment of women in sciences and engineering.  

     



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-06-2019 01:26 PM
    University at Buffalo School of Engineering


    <g class="gr_ gr_18 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="18" data-gr-id="18">Panel</g> discusses sexual harassment in academia[1]
    Three UB administrators fielded questions and offered advice on the issue at the Women in STEM Cooperative's annual summit on Wednesday.


    [1]http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2019/05/women-in-stem-summit.html?utm_source=2016+UB+Reporter%2C+University+at+Buffalo+List&utm_campaign=8bd11f48b9-UBNow_05_06_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_af676811e4-8bd11f48b9-88028897  downloaded <g class="gr_ gr_19 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Style multiReplace" id="19" data-gr-id="19">06MAY2019</g>

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-09-2019 12:28 PM
    I am saddened and disturbed that we haven't made more strides in this area. In reading the recommended pages, I found it interesting that Recommendation #10 (page 184) is to lean on professional societies (like ASCE)​ to help "create culture changes that reduce or prevent the recurrence of sexual harrassment."

    I am also very curious as to why there aren't more comments on this thread. We should never be too busy to condemn, call-out, and put a stop to unprofessional behavior the demeans someone because of their gender, race, or ethnicity. But, I also wonder if sometimes it's preferable to fool ourselves into thinking this is a thing of the past, it's not my problem (until it happens to you or someone you care about), or that this behavior is confined to other types of engineers/scientists, but not civil engineers.

    Take this Harvard Business Review article, which indicates the rise of modern sexism in fields that advocate for a "pure meritocracy" (i.e. engineering). Here's an excerpt that is relevant here:

    This body of research also shows why advocating for a "pure meritocracy" - rather than explicitly pursuing diversity - doesn't help companies overcome bias. In fact, companies that highlight "meritocracy" may actually cause greater bias against women: Experimental studies show that when an organization is referred to as a meritocracy, individuals in managerial positions favor male employees over equally qualified female employees and give them larger rewards............ Calling for a meritocracy and denying that workplace inequality still exists captures what scientists refer to as modern sexism. Modern sexism is characterized by "beliefs that discrimination against women is a thing of the past, antagonism towards women who are making political and economic demands, and resentment about special favors for women. Notably, individuals espousing such views do not regard these notions as sexist or unfair and…conclude that, given the even playing field upon which the two sexes now compete, the continuing under-representation of women in certain roles (e.g., management positions…) must be a result of women's own choices or inferiority as opposed to discrimination."

     ------------------------------
    Stephanie Slocum P.E.,M.ASCE
    Founder
    Engineers Rising LLC
    www.engineersrising.com
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-13-2019 07:41 AM
    In my 38 years Engineering career in Canada there was one sexual harassment case, and the offender wasn't an engineer. Early in my career in Canada, the senior accountant of our engineering firm tried to pressure a young receptionist for a date. She reported him to the president who fired him on the spot without even giving him a chance to defend himself. Everyone in the firm sympathized with her; no one even questioned the guilt of that man who was already considered of low character even before the incident.

    Other than that, there's none that I know of in my Engineering career in Canada. Perhaps, I'm blessed in working with decent people. I hope that's representative of Canadian Engineering firms.

    Prior to my immigration to Canada, there was one offender in one of the five Middle Eastern countries that I worked in. None in the other four countries.


    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-23-2019 08:05 AM
    The immediately prior post by retired Canadian Structural Engineering Manager Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.,is recognized and appreciated. However, it might be better positioned in a series focused on sexual harassment that addresses the working environment outside of the one addressed by the noted NAS report and this conversation.

    Based on the referenced NAS report, your thoughts, opinions, and feedback are invited as to how best we might collaborate, cooperate and communicate within, and external to ASCE to immediately right those wrongs as clearly articulated within the NAS report.

    As Stephanie Slocum P.E., M. ASCE, Founder, Engineers Rising LLC, www.engineersrising.com, suggests in her previous comments above, on page 184, "Recommendation 10" of the report "Sexual Harassment of Women: in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine," we ought to be overtly encouraging the involvement of ASCE[1]and its Sister and Brother Professional Societies as well as other related organizations.




    [1]Committees, local sections, student sections, etc., etc., etc.

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-24-2019 11:23 AM
    It is acknowledged that this very subject, "Sexual Harassment," is not one civil <g class="gr_ gr_41 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="41" data-gr-id="41">engineers</g>
    nor most folks are comfortable speaking about out loud, in public.

    And yet, that is part of the background "Protection" the sexual predators reply on.

    So, in order to better prepare ourselves, let's realize, just as we did when we sat in on our first class in chemistry,
    indeterminate structural design, and advanced calculus:

                     The key to mastering the subject is first understanding
                               the clear meaning of a common vocabulary.
     
    The following references are made in each and every case to the NAS Report
    "Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences,
    Engineering, and Medicine" (2018) [1]: http://nap.edu/24994    
     
    • Sexual Harassment Categories  p. 25
    • Legal Classifications  p. 26
    •  Definitions of Sexual Harassment   p. 28
    • Summary of Key Terms   p. 29
    • Public Consciousness of Sexual Harassment and Specific Sexually Harassing Behaviors  p. 32
    •  FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS   p. 48

     "A woman's strength should not be in her role, whatever she chooses to be, but in the power to choose that role." 
                                                                                                                    ― Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance


    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-25-2019 09:37 AM
    Hayden's post is right on.  Well done.

    ------------------------------
    Kim de Rubertis P.E.,CEG,D.GE,F.ASCE
    Consulting Engineer
    Cashmere WA
    (509) 782-3434
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-26-2019 08:55 PM

     Cases continue to arise showing a pattern of harassment towards women as indicated in the report. Here's yet another example, in which the academic institution is working to provide restitution: [1]Source: Opinion | It's Taken 5 Decades to Get the Ph.D. Her Abusive Professor Denied Her

    Nytimes remove preview
    Opinion | It's Taken 5 Decades to Get the Ph.D. Her Abusive Professor Denied Her
    In 1967, a dream was derailed. But it never died. When Marilyn Webb asked a distinguished male professor to serve on her dissertation committee at the University of Chicago, he said he would do so only if he could go to her apartment and give her baths.
    View this on Nytimes >


    So, to my original question, what is your opinion on what we can do - and/or what has your academic institution already done - to prevent harassment and discrimination in the first place? 



    [1]Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/opinion/sunday/gender-discrimination-abuse.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190526  downloaded <g class="gr_ gr_24 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Style multiReplace" id="24" data-gr-id="24">26MAY2019</g>


    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-27-2019 09:14 AM
    I'm shocked to read about what happened to Marilyn. Thank you for airing the story, and congratulations, Marilyn, on getting your Ph.D. in spite of everything.


    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-27-2019 09:17 AM
    Indeed an important topic.  I can tell you that my new dean has been very proactive on this.  She has required all faculty to take a series of in class training on implicit bias, discrimination and conflict resolution.  Our university also requires online training every year specifically on sexual harassment and related topics.

    I believe we still have some pockets of resistance.  Within my department, I have been very fortunate building on the works of my predecessors to now have a faculty that as of the fall with be over 1/3 women -- can still do better.  We also need to do better at attracting female students into civil engineering, though it has been improving -- if ASCE more strongly embraced the old tagline "people serving profession", it would help.

    ------------------------------
    Charles Haas F.ASCE, BCEEM
    LD Betz Professor of Environ. Eng. & Department Head - Civil, Architectural and Environmental Eng.
    Drexel University
    Philadelphia PA
    (215) 895-2283
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-27-2019 04:43 PM
    Re anti sexual harassment measures: my former employer, SNC-Lavalin, had code of conduct, including anti sexual harassment, training and test as a requirement for employment. That large international firm has a great reputation for good work environment, free from all kinds of harassment.

    Such codes of conduct and training should be standard requirements at every engineering and academic entity.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-28-2019 07:41 AM
      |   view attached
    This RFP appears to support the recommendations of the NAS report upon which this conversation thread is based.
    It is an encouraging step in the right direction.



    The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Transportation Research Board has just released the attached RFP for the purpose of striving to be more diverse and inclusive and to foster diversity and inclusion programs that include effective policies, plans, and practices. These programs seek to improve the public transportation workplace, reduce harassment and discrimination, foster better decision-making, increase innovation, and reduce key barriers that affect industry success.

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-28-2019 07:38 AM
    The harassment of either a male or female in the workplace is a real thing.  I  believe that is a basic failure in the upbringing and education of individuals.  It is not just in the science, engineering and technical fields.  It is about basic respect for each other.

    Peter Fadden, PE (Retired) MASCE






  • 14.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-30-2019 12:58 PM
    NSPE Steps Out Front, & Out Loud
    Crossing the Line [1]
    As engineering attempts to attract more women, the profession must address critical cultural issues. Sexual harassment is one.
    BY EVA KAPLAN-LEISERSON
    The low percentages of women in engineering are oft-cited statistics. For instance, only about 20% of engineering graduates are female. But as efforts intensify to increase the participation of women, there's a growing recognition of obstacles that are either keeping women out of the profession or causing them to leave. One important one is sexual harassment.

    Moving Forward

    In 2016, US Representative Jackie Speier of California introduced the Federal Funding Accountability for Sexual Harassers Act to address "rampant" sexual abuse and harassment at academic institutions, which she says is driving women out of STEM. The bill, which she plans to reintroduce, would require universities to report substantiated findings of sexual abuse and harassment by research professors to federal funding agencies and give those grant-making agencies the authority to consider this information when making future funding decisions.

    "I have had it with a culture that allows for sexual harassment to continue to fester," Speier told CNN.
    "[The bill] is sending an important message to universities across the country that
    you can't hide and you can't brush these cases under the proverbial rug."



    [1]Source: Crossing the Line
    Nspe remove preview
    Crossing the Line
    Crossing the Line BY EVA KAPLAN-LEISERSON * Members quoted in these articles were allowed to remain anonymous and given fictitious names, due to the sensitive nature of the issues. The low percentages of women in engineering are oft-cited statistics. For instance, only about 20% of engineering graduates are female.
    View this on Nspe >



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 05-31-2019 09:55 AM
    • 6th International Conference on Women's Issues in Transportation
    "Insights, Inclusion, and Impact:
                             Framing the Future for Women in Transportation" [1]

    September 10 – 13, 2019
    • International Conference on Women's Issues in Transportation, Irvine, CA
    The 2019 WIiT conference will focus on women's issues related to all aspects of travel and transportation, framed through the lens of insights, inclusion, and impact. FHWA is a sponsor of this year's conference and will advance themes from the 2014 conference including gender differences in transportation and mobility, the responsiveness of transport systems to the needs and preferences of women, transportation safety, personal security, and participation of women in decision-making, and wealth creation in the transportation sector. Staff Contact: Shari Schaftlein.
    The 2019 conference will be guided by lenses of insights, inclusion, and impact.

    • Inclusion:
    ·      Has an emphasis on women's needs in transportation ignited scholars' and practitioners' curiosity to broadly
           address gender equity?
    ·      Can we maintain our emphasis on transportation impacts on women and open it more broadly to gender-oriented research
          (e.g. gay/lesbian/transgender? The revised roles with in family structures?)


    [1]Source: http://www.cvent.com/events/6th-international-conference-on-women-s-issues-in-transportation/custom-19-c01736980c964d8093c8e32fc031e3b2.aspx  downloaded <g class="gr_ gr_28 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Style multiReplace" id="28" data-gr-id="28">30MAY2019</g>

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 06-02-2019 08:37 AM
    It is approaching time to plan the formation of a multi-disciplined task force[1] to follow up on the implementation of the programs/projects recommended by the NAS report (see earlier posts herein).

    During this initial formation/planning phase to construct the most appropriately balanced task force, it will be wise to include invitations to members from specialized fields of study outside of civil engineering to support our understanding of the complexity of what we will be addressing.

    In prior discussions, many of us have already agreed that most challenges we face can be captured within the following four general categories:
    a.   People
    b.   Process
    c.   Technology
    d.   Leadership

    And of these four, the only <g class="gr_ gr_33 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar replaceWithoutSep" id="33" data-gr-id="33">one</g> civil engineers master most of the time is technology. This awareness helps us to identify those categories wherein subject-matter experts from other specialties will be highly valued as partners in this profession-changing academic experience. Some non-CE specialties to consider:

    ·     Dr. W. Edwards Deming: "System of Profound Knowledge." [2]

    ·     Kurt Lewin[3]: Kurt Lewin´s "Force Field Theory of Change | Organizational Change" [4]

              Also, B = f (I, E), where B, the observed behavior of an individual; I, the individual; and E, the psychological life space within which the individual was observed at the time of the behavior noted.

    ·     Sexual Harassment: "Sexual Harassment: Have We Made Any Progress?"  [5]

    While there may be more, the above is noted to make the point that we CEs will need non-CE partners if we <g class="gr_ gr_111 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Style multiReplace" id="111" data-gr-id="111">intend </g>
    <g class="gr_ gr_111 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Style multiReplace" id="111" data-gr-id="111">to</g> get this right the first time . . . and every time thereafter!


    [1]NOT another "Committee!"
    [2]Source: https://deming.org/explore/so-pkdownloaded 02JUN2019
    [3]Social Psychology.
    [4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koI6EXec4Yc    4:38
    [5]https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/ocp-ocp0000054.pdf

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 06-02-2019 06:53 PM
      |   view attached
    Please consider the information on the attachment, taken from a recent Columbia University study.

    Thanks.

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    docx
    Columbia University.docx   124 KB 1 version


  • 18.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 06-02-2019 06:53 PM
      |   view attached
    "Girls in Tech" attached provides yet another view of what we seem to agree is a widespread problem that needs men to act responsibly in their relationships with women in the workplace.  It shouldn't be difficult.  Why is it a problem?

    ------------------------------
    Kim de Rubertis P.E.,CEG,D.GE,F.ASCE
    Consulting Engineer
    Cashmere WA
    (509) 782-3434
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    Girls in Tech.pdf   1.74 MB 1 version


  • 19.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering

    Posted 06-02-2019 06:55 PM
    Dear William, thank you for sharing this valuable resource. I will suggest its reading to our student chapter members. It is hard to know that some students think that some behaviours are "normal", or worst, some of them don't report fearing any kind of retaliation.

    ------------------------------
    Andres Guzman Ing.,M.ASCE
    Associate Professor
    UNIVERSIDAD DEL NORTE
    Barranquilla
    573004284680
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Harassment of Women in Science and Engineering