Monday, October 14, 2019 - 16:00
Event Speaker: 
Lauren Aycock (AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow)
Local Contact: 
Davide Lazzati

Sexual harassment occurs frequently in male-dominated fields including physics which is more male-dominated than most other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. I will present results on the incidence of sexual harassment and its impact on our sample of women in physics. Our work focused on undergraduate women, who attended a conference for undergraduate women in physics, and took an online post-conference survey. Approximately three quarters (74.3%; 338/455) of survey respondents experienced at least one type of sexual harassment in physics. We find that more frequent/less severe types of sexual harassment predict a negative sense of belonging in physics. Prior work has found that a discipline-specific sense of belonging is related to students' persistence in STEM fields. Our results have implications for understanding and improving persistence in physics. Informing the community about the occurrence of sexual harassment in physics can enable work toward reducing its occurrence and mitigating its impact.

Refreshments will be offered half an hour before the colloquium in Weniger 379