How can research institutions and funding agencies best address gender-specific barriers in scientific research? A new article published in the Nov 8th issue of Science magazine recommends specific policy changes and processes to address sexual harassment, unconscious bias, and cultural prejudices. The major recommendations are:
Treat sexual harassment in a manner parallel to scientific misconduct
Require investigators to disclose harassment findings and settlements to funding agencies and potential employers
Establish mechanisms to protect the careers of harassment victims
Require transparency in start-up packages, salaries, and internal grant funding
Foster work-life balance through family-friendly policies (examples provided)
Advance the careers of women with fair distribution of workloads, and avoiding all male advancement panels
Promote and ensure effective mentorship
We know policies don’t change without pressure from all directions. So let’s speak up! Please
Be informed about how the policies would be implemented, read the paper (takes 5 minutes)
Retweet this post and include the link to the open access paper (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6466/692.full). Tell us why policy change is important to you (be specific or broad).
If you feel comfortable doing so, e-mail a copy of this paper to those who can influence policy (e.g. your advisor/boss/department head, VPR, provost, president, grant program managers).