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Ranking Member Johnson Introduces Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act

Oct 5, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) introduced H.R. 7031, the “Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2018.” H.R. 7031 would expand research efforts to better understand the causes and consequences of sexual harassment affecting individuals in the scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematics workforce, including students and trainees, and to examine policies to reduce the prevalence and negative impact of such harassment.

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) statement is below.

“Recently there have been a disturbing number of sexual harassment allegations emerging across our society, including in the scientific workforce and academia. This is by no means a new phenomenon, but this troubling behavior is now beginning to receive the attention it deserves.

“The academic workplace, when compared to the military, private sector, and government, has the second-highest rate of sexual harassment, with 58% of women in academia experiencing sexual harassment. This behavior undermines career advancement for women in critical STEM fields, and many women report leaving promising careers in academic research due to sexual harassment. Women of color are even more likely to experience sexual harassment and to feel unsafe at work.

“Equitable access to education and research experiences cannot be ensured for women in the sciences until gender discrimination, implicit bias, and sexual harassment are no longer potential barriers to their success. We cannot afford – morally, scientifically, or economically – to continue to lose these skilled scientists and engineers, particularly from groups that are already underrepresented in STEM.

“That is why I introduced H.R. 7031. It is our hope that this legislation will build upon progress already made by the National Science Foundation through recent updates to its sexual harassment policy. It is vital that grantees, as stewards of Federal money, take seriously their responsibility to foster a healthy working environment as they train the next generation of scientists. I hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate will support this legislation.”

Cosponsors: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41), Rep. Jacky Rosen (NV-03), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-18), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07), Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Rep. John Lewis (GA-05), Rep. Al Green (TX-09), Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. (MO-01), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Marc A. Veasey (TX-33), Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05), Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Rep. G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Rep. Val Butler Demings (FL-10), Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)

Endorsements: Acoustical Society of America (ASA), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Mathematical Society (AMS), American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Physical Society (APS), American Political Science Association (APSA), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), Association for Women in Science (AWIS), Computing Research Association (CRA), Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), The Optical Society (OSA)

More information on H.R.­­ 7031 can be found here.

115th Congress