Welcome to Chapter 3. Before learn how to navigate harassment, let’s learn what harassment is and how to recognize it. Note that your legal protections change depending on your location and university or workplace, and policies can change with time, so it’s always a good thing to review your rights periodically.
Tip: Instead of searching online for your legal protections regarding harassment, test your university or company’s HR by asking them for resources on the topic. If they respond positively and with many resources, that’s a good sign that in the case you are harassed they may be supportive in helping you reach a resolution. If they don’t provide help and make you feel bad for asking, this could be a red flag.
Ch.3 Education on Harassment
3.1 Legal Definitions of Harassment and Discrimination
I know it can be boring to read legal definitions, but, trust me, it’s worth it. Download and read the materials below to start learning about your legal protections.
3.2 Legal Definitions Questionnaire
Use this exercise to learn your local jurisdiction regarding harassment and discrimination protections.
3.3 Why do we face harassment and discrimination at work and school?
Developing the language to describe our experiences with harassment is so helpful for navigating it and reaching a resolution. When I learned terms such as “tall poppy syndrome” and “microaggressions”, I finally had a term to describe my experience and seek help.
The following downloadable PDF includes a short and limited list of resources that you can use to learn more about why we face harassment and discrimination at work and school. There are so many other great works not included, so take this as a starting point in your learning journey. Perhaps you have already read some of these works or know of some not included. If that’s the case, I encourage you to share those resources with the Resilient in STEM community so that we all benefit.
3.3.1 Exercise: Literature Search
Harassment, bias, and discrimination are researched across different disciplines including psychology, sociology, and gender studies. Learning about this research can help one understand that they are not alone in experiencing inappropriate behavior and abuse, and aid in navigating situations.
Complete the following exercise to start reading published scientific literature on these topics.
3.4 Addressing Harassment and Discrimination at Work and School
We know harassment and discrimination are societal issues. What is being done to address it?
In recent years, the MeToo Movement and Black Lives Matter gained worldwide attention, advancing these topics from taboo toward mainstream conversation. Many organizations and institutions are working on positive change. The following downloadable document discusses a few notable examples of institutional change efforts.
If you know of any additions to this list, please share it with the Resilient in STEM community.
More supportive organizations and efforts are compiled here:
3.4.1 Exercise: Analyzing Diversity and Inclusion Programs
While there are many diversity and inclusion programs within organizations and institutions, many are ineffective at actually improving the culture to make it more inclusive. Download and complete the following exercise to determine whether a diversity and inclusion program fulfills its mission.