Lilia M. Cortina, Timothy R.B. Johnson, and Anna Kirkland are U-M professors who participated on a 21-person committee to change the culture around sexual harassment policies in academia. The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine finds that academic institutions can do more to prevent sexual harassment, especially in historically male-dominated STEM fields. According to the report, current policies, procedures, and approaches have not resulted in significant reduction in sexual harassment.
“This report delivers some really tough news,” Kirkland said. “Laws against sexual harassment haven’t solved the problem, trainings do not seem to be very effective, and women continue to be driven from careers in science, technology, and medicine through exclusion and contempt, not just sexual advances. Administrators and attorneys in higher education must realize that we need new approaches that grapple with what the research and the targets themselves tell us.”