According to the National Academy of Sciences, 50% of women in science experience sexual harassment.
“This is a shameful waste of precious human resources and our investment in human potential," said the academy’s president Marcia McNutt in a video clip. “And it can be devastating for the women who are harassed, undermining their professional and educational attainment, and their mental and physical health.”
The academy, which is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, conducted an extensive survey of women in academic science, engineering, and medicine. Up to 50% of students said they experienced sexual harassment, along with 58% of women faculty and staff in all academic fields. Women of color reported experiencing the most harassment.
“The #MeToo movement is shining a spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in our society,” said McNutt. “The report is being released at the right moment in history to confront these issues and take action that will stop harassment at academic and research institutions around the nation.”
The study also found that current sexual harassment policies aren't working and that women are not likely to report sexual harassment because they expect retaliation — and often receive it. But the academy is looking into ways to reduce harassment and wants institutions to be more transparent.