Women and minorities pursuing careers in STEM may soon have more protections against workplace harassment.
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-T.X., introduced an act on Oct. 5 that advocates for strategies and incentives to combat sexual harassment in STEM fields for underrepresented populations.
The Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2018 aims to provide research to better understand the causes of sexual harassment in the STEM fields, as well as to examine policies which could reduce these occurrences.
According to the bill, 58 percent of individuals in the academic workplace experience sexual harassment — the second highest rate when compared to the military, the private sector and federal, state and local governments.
Johnson said in a press release the alarming statistics stated in recent research was one of her motives for drafting the bill, in addition to how sexual harassment is an obstacle for professional development.