Emerging Research Report

The under-studied research questions of Identity-based Harassment

The ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network convened scholars from multiple disciplines for a 2-day workshop to prioritize under-studied research questions within the general theme of Identity-based Harassment. The Research Advisory Board to the ARC Network, a National Science Foundation-funded program hosted by the Association for Women in Science, identified this theme as a primary area in need of further research exploration in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workplaces.

In addition to the input from the 23 scholars who attended the workshop, we invited the larger Equity in STEM community to share their expertise on the same questions we explored at the workshop. Taken together, this collective expertise will inform a research agenda on identity-based harassment in academic STEM we will share back with the community as a white paper in early 2020. Scholars read the following draft report and completed a survey by November 15, 2019. Thank you for your input.

A Workshop on Emerging Research Themes

Joan M. Herbers, Heather E. Metcalf, Rochelle L. Williams[1]

Workshop Participants and Report Contributors

Leslie Ashburn-Nardo                      Indiana University/ Purdue University Indianapolis

Ramón Barthelemy                          University of Utah  

Canan Bilen-Green                         North Dakota State University

Kimberley Case                               Virginia Commonwealth University

Ximena Cid                                     California State University – Dominguez Hills

Danielle Dickens                             Spelman College

Asia Eaton                                      Florida International University      

Stephanie Goodwin                         Wright State University

Joan M. Herbers                             ARC Network and The Ohio State University

Eden King                                       Rice University

Anne Massaro                                 Facilitator

Allison Mattheis                              California State University – Los Angeles

Melinda McCormick                        Western Michigan University

BethAnn McLaughlin                       MeTooSTEM

Heather Metcalf                              ARC Network and Association for Women in Science

Sandra Robert                                 Association for Women in Science

Cheryl Rodriguez                            University of South Florida

Kevin Swartout                                Georgia State University

Alexandra Tracy-Ramírez                HopkinsWay PLLC

Billy Williams                                 American Geophysical Union

Rochelle Williams                           ARC Network and Association for Women in Science

Planning Committee

Ramón Barthelemy                          University of Utah

Kate Clancy                                    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lilia Cortina                                   University of Michigan

Stephanie Goodwin                         Wright State University

Mary Ann Holmes                           University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Joan M. Herbers                             ARC Network

Heather Metcalf                              ARC Network

Rochelle Williams                           ARC Network

Anne Massaro                                 Facilitator

Suggested reference: Herbers, J.M, H.E. Metcalf, and R.L. Williams. 2019. Identity-based Harassment: a workshop on emerging research themes. ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network, Washington, DC.

Executive Summary

The ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network convened scholars from multiple disciplines for a 2-day workshop to prioritize under-studied research questions within the general theme of Identity-based Harassment. The Research Advisory Board of the ARC Network, a National Science Foundation-funded program hosted by the Association for Women in Science, identified this theme as a primary area in need of further research exploration in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workplaces.

Identity-based harassment refers to denigrating behavior targeting individuals on aspects of identity including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, citizenship, socio-economic status, disability, and other social demographic categories. It can range from verbal slights or exclusionary behavior to full-out assault and physical violence. Identity-based harassment undermines the individual, and those belonging to more than one marginalized group can suffer in non-additive ways. Such harassment also shapes STEM workplace cultures in complicated ways, influencing productivity, sense of belonging, employee well-being, retention, field-level commitment, and more.

Members of the workshop planning committee nominated scholars working in this area who represent a diverse array of disciplines, research specialties, institution types, career stages, and social demographic backgrounds. Twenty-three scholars were convened in July 2019 and participated in a series of facilitator-led discussions designed to culminate in a research agenda of under-studied questions that will advance understanding of identity-based harassment.

By the end of our time together, the group prioritized four leading areas:

  1. Put “gas on the fire” by accelerating and putting to practice research on effective, intersectional interventions, prevention strategies, and response models that are centered on the perspectives and needs of those who experience identity-based harassment in whatever forms it manifests.
  2. Value all knowledge production. Inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches to identity harassment are needed to solve urgent problems, with perspectives from all disciplines and all forms of knowledge production equally valued. Given that marginalized scholars often work in marginalized research domains, it is imperative that we incorporate these ways of knowing to fully understand the experience of harassment.
  3. Spotlight research at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)[2]. Much harassment research comes from and focuses on research-intensive institutions which are also often predominantly white. Because MSIs encompass the full range of higher education from two-year and four-year colleges to research institutions, they also provide opportunities to study how a range of institutional missions affect experiences of harassment, as well as prevention and response strategies. In particular, the experiences of STEM women of color at MSIs can provide important insights to intersectional research, especially on the roles that gender, race, ethnicity, and institutional setting play.
  4. Shift the focus from institutional liability to harm mitigation as the framework for responding to harassment complaints. The concept of harm mitigation puts the victim at the center of harassment complaints and provides a departure from emphasis on liability that currently drives policy development in higher education. Approaches based upon harm mitigation have transformed medical malpractice and community engagement, and research on how that can be incorporated into investigations of identity-based harassment has the potential to radically shift the landscape for victims and perpetrators alike.

The four priority areas emerged from extensive discussion among workshop participants. Other areas where research is needed include:

  • Influence of social media in generating and/or ameliorating harassment
  • Influence of local/state policy on how data are collected
  • Faculty views of compliance and management training
  • Roles and development of advocates and allies
  • Bystander research
  • Role of professional societies in STEM culture change
  • Effectiveness of university compliance structures
  • Effect of disciplinary, departmental, institutional, geographical, and other contexts on experiences of harassment
  • Methods to balance protecting participant anonymity with meaningful disaggregation, particularly in intersectional research
  • Development of inclusive leaders
  • Relationship between concepts of academic freedom and resistance to culture change
  • Disciplinary norms and experiences of harassment
  • Characteristics of those who persist versus those who leave their positions after being harassed


We encourage the research community to consider pursuing these topics, and welcome input concerning any others deemed urgent. Comments can be shared with the corresponding author and as part of a community input survey here: https://equityinstem.org/id-based-harassment/



The ADVANCE Research Coordination (ARC) Network is funded by a grant to the Association for Women in Science from the National Science Foundation (HRD 1740860). Its over-arching goal is to curate, disseminate, and support a community that shares research and promising practices for intersectional gender equity in higher education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments. Through ARC’s Emerging Research Workshops, it also has a mission to identify emerging research themes and directions for new research in those areas. Here we report on the latter mission.

The ARC Network is supported by several advisory committees, including the Research Advisory Board (RAB). As part of its work, the RAB is charged annually with identifying important topics emerging in the literature on gender equity in STEM. Subsequent goals include recruiting a diverse cohort of scholars who commit to participating in a 2-day workshop on that topic. The workshop itself is designed to identify important questions for which additional research is needed, using intersectionality as a framework. In the autumn of 2018, the RAB recommended that ARC host its first Emerging Research Workshop on the general topic of Identity-Based Harassment.


The RAB recruited a Planning Committee (see page 2) to further define the theme, outline potential topics for discussion, identify scholars working in the area, and plan the workshop itself. Throughout its deliberations, the Planning Committee focused on recruiting scholars representing a wide range of disciplines, expertise, institutional types, career stages, and demographic backgrounds to participate, and weaving intersectionality throughout the workshop design.


The committee defined identity-based harassment broadly as behavior that serves to denigrate individuals based upon one or more aspects of identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, citizenship, socio-economic status, disability, and other socio-demographic categories. Harassment behaviors can range from micro-inequities to violence; some such behaviors are proscribed by law whereas others result from cultural dominance, microaggressions, and explicit and implicit bias. Because all individuals are situated within a complex interplay of systems that inform their identities and influence their experiences with harassment, understanding those experiences requires an intersectional approach. Intersectionality, first coined by Black feminist legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, is a contextual framework for examining how dimensions of individual and group identity are connected to systems of power, privilege, and oppression, which deeply intertwine to influence barriers and opportunities individuals experience (Metcalf & Russell, 2018; Crenshaw, 1989; 1991; Collins, 2015).


The Planning Committee nominated individuals to participate in the workshop by considering a broad range of variables, including discipline, institution type, career stage, and the aspects of identity they study (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, citizenship, socio-economic status, disability, et al). The resulting group (see page 2) included scholars working in anthropology, psychology, sociology, law, biology, physics, geology, and social work; participants included faculty of all ranks, representatives of professional societies, social workers, and an attorney. The identities of the scholars were diverse, as well, which brought added richness and deeper insights to the discussions.


As part of the invitation process, the Planning Committee shared some background research context for the focus of the workshop as follows:


Recent research on STEM workplace culture shows that gender-based and sexual harassment are widespread in STEM fields (Ayock et al., 2017; Berry et al., 2017; Clancy et al., 2017; NASEM, 2018). However, little scholarship incorporates the experiences of women of color, LGBTQ+ or disabled scientists/engineers or other forms of harassment. Harassment research conducted from an intersectionality perspective shows a multitude of ways in which scientists and engineers from marginalized groups encounter identity-based harassment. For example, survey research (n=424) on race, gender, and astronomy/planetary science demonstrated that women of color experience the highest rates of race- and gender- based harassment and assault in their STEM workplaces (Clancy et al., 2017). The American Physical Society’s LGBT climate survey of physicists (n=324) found that LGB women experienced harassment related to their gender or sexuality at three times the rate of LGB men and for gender-nonconforming and transgender scientists, the rate was four and five times more, respectively (Atherton et al., 2016). The study’s supplemental interviews showed LGBT physicists of color encountered additional, unique challenges with exclusionary behavior, like race-related harassment. A 2016 survey (n=327) conducted by the Association for Women in Science showed that women of color, particularly if they identified as LGBTQ+, reported the highest levels of experiences with disability-related exclusionary behaviors in their STEM workplaces (Metcalf et al., 2018).


Prior to the actual Workshop, we asked participants to review the recent report on Sexual Harassment in Science released by the National Academies in 2018 (NASEM, 2018). This important document helped develop a shared understanding of harassment by expanding beyond sexual harassment to incorporate other forms of identity into our definition. Furthermore, we framed many discussions via their metaphor of harassment as an iceberg for which the below-sea-level components are more subtle, numerous, and equally damaging to the above-sea-level components that are more blatant and obvious.


Workshop Description

The Planning Committee designed the workshop to proceed from a general overview of identity-based harassment to prioritizing specific research questions. The Committee recognized the potential of this topic to produce difficult conversations, trigger past trauma, and uncover strong differences of opinions. We therefore began the workshop by establishing group norms and shared understandings of purpose in order to create a space where authentic conversations could take place over the course of two days. Participants discussed intersectionality, approaches taken by different disciplines, and how their personal experiences shaped their interest in the topic. See Appendix I for the full agenda.


            Day 1


The overall goal for the first day was Developing a Shared Understanding for a Research Roadmap. Participants engaged in four conversations designed to elicit varying perspectives, develop shared understanding, and reach conclusions about emerging research areas on identity-based harassment. We used the technique known as the World Café: for each conversation, participants were in discussion with a new, small group of colleagues. Within each small group, a host was charged with keeping the discussion focused and ensuring that all voices were heard. Once the discussion had concluded, the facilitator asked each group to report out; in that way, everyone had a sense of the communal responses prior to moving to the subsequent group discussion.

The four questions were designed to guide conversations from the general to the specific:

  1. What does inclusion look like in academia?
  2. What do we know today about identity-based harassment and intersectionality in academia, and particularly in STEM disciplines?
  3. What’s missing from the research on identity-based harassment using intersectionality as a framework?  About what issues do we need more clarity?
  4. When thinking about creating change in the academy so that inclusion and respect are the norm, what research areas emerge?  


Expanded bulleted responses to the four questions are given in Appendix II. Here we summarize the main ideas that emerged. Some responses were echoed across the four questions, and others were not perfectly aligned as they represented differences of opinion.


Question 1:  What does inclusion look like in academia?


  • Inclusion is more than the absence of exclusion: it must be affirmative and supportive. Inclusive behavior brings multiple perspectives and identities into the conversation but is not itself focused on identity. A useful distinction can be made between diversity and inclusion: Diversity is having a seat at the table, whereas inclusion is having an equal voice with access to power structures.
  • An inclusive environment is safe for everyone and promotes everyone’s success. It allows individuals to take risks and is transparent about processes and values. Inclusion challenges exclusionary thinking and behavior in ways that are respectful and compelling.
  • Inclusion recognizes and addresses how working/ learning experiences are affected simultaneously by different dimensions of power, privilege, and oppression.
  • How do we recognize inclusion? Focusing on demographics is useful for measuring progress, but all too often it is perceived as the end goal. Diversity is necessary but not sufficient for inclusion. Furthermore, the way demographic data is collected almost always fails to account for intersectionality and the connection between demographic patterns and larger power structures. Equitable access to power is the primary criterion by which we can assess inclusion: pipeline strategies fail because they don’t change the power structure.
  • Those in leadership play important roles in modeling inclusion, but they need training and resources to be effective in those roles (Dobbin & Kalev, 2019). Yet inclusion cannot depend on any individual; it must be engendered by institutional policies, practices, and culture.
  • There’s more awareness of how inclusion might look for students, in part because they do not hold institutional power and have been studied more in the literature. Inherent power differentials between faculty and staff as well as among faculty (rank, probationary status, contingent vs tenure-track) render true inclusion an elusive goal in higher education.
  • Inclusion can only be attained by reaching outside the institution’s walls: an inclusive university is connected to its community and that community’s expertise, lived experiences and perspectives. Furthermore, inclusive institutions value and promote social justice work.



Question 2:  What do we know today about identity-based harassment and intersectionality?


  • Harassment has real costs in terms of productivity, self-efficacy, and retention. Most of it goes unreported, for various reasons. Some victims/targets/survivors do not recognize the behavior as harassment; others do not want to or feel safe enough or resourced enough to challenge the power structure; some believe they will not receive redress; others are ashamed and blame themselves rather than the perpetrator. Repetitive micro-aggressions and gaslighting create hostile environments and can be more damaging than a single more egregious event.
  • For some STEM disciplines, individuals work in isolation or small groups (field studies, late-night lab experiments) that create added vulnerability and risk.
  • Social media plays an increasingly large role fueling harassment via trolling, mobbing, doxxing, and other negative behaviors. We do not know yet how to use social media to successfully mitigate the effects of harassment.
  • LGBTQ+ people and people of color experience higher rates of harassment across the board, from micro-aggressions through incivility to violence. Individuals with multiple marginalized identities (e.g. women of color, gay Latinx folks) experience even incidents more frequently and severe.
  • Intersectionality research relies heavily on qualitative methods, which have generated critical understanding of important research questions. Quantitative research, on the other hand, is stymied by the “small numbers problem.” To protect individual confidentiality, data are often aggregated in ways that obscure root causes (e.g. pooling across departments, institutions, or demographic categories). We may need new and/or mixed methodologies to circumvent this problem and thereby complement qualitative research. Critical quantitative methodologies present promising ways for addressing these issues (Baez, 2007; Griffin & Museus, 2011).
  • Current regulations require institutions to self-report incidences of harassment. Institutional culture affects both incidences of harassment and reporting; those that protect perpetrators and doubt accusers are particularly problematic. Institutions have wide latitude on how they collect and report data, leading to unreliable information. Worse, we cannot use cross-institution data reliably to infer trends.
  • Policies concerning harassment are written by administrators, with a focus on protecting the institution from liability. Voices of vulnerable populations are rarely recruited to help draft or inform those policies, and protection against retaliation is weak. Policies focus on gender and ethnicity because these are proscribed by law and create separate pathways for pursuing remedies for each even though individuals often do not experience harassment in mutually exclusive ways. Law and policy typically ignore intersectionality and important other variables like sexuality, social class, political affiliation, religion et al.
  • Research tends to focus on those persisting in the field, ignoring those who have left as a result of harassment.
  • We do not know enough about interventions and leadership trainings that are effective; most are designed and implemented to achieve the primary objective of shielding the institution from liability rather than supporting individuals who may have experienced harassment. We do know that compliance-based training and shaming/ blaming are ineffective.






Question 3:  What’s missing from the research on identity-based harassment using intersectionality as a framework?  About what issues do we need more clarity?


  • Harassment research tends to focus on gender in the aggregate, rarely looking at other components of identity simultaneously. This leaves the research community without a holistic understanding of how harassment functions systemically for a variety of dimensions of marginalization.
  • The first responder to an incident is most likely a friend or colleague rather than someone with line authority. How can we train first responders, and what is the relationship of that issue to the bystander literature? What responses are effective in helping the victim understand what happened and framing an appropriate institutional response?
  • Having policies is not enough. How do we ensure widespread shared understanding of the policies’ reach and directives, the impact of these policies and policy awareness, and modes of enforcement?
  • We need better models on how to train individuals on what harassment is and how to respond to incidents: having a web page or once-a-year inoculation is insufficient. Yet we know little about what does make a training effective for first responders, bystanders, and administrators.
  • At present university policy is framed around minimizing liability rather than mitigating harm. We know that policies based on harm mitigation/ restorative justice are very effective in other arenas (e.g. medical liability, student affairs infractions). How can we promote an alternative mindset concerning harassment that focuses on the victim rather than institutional liability?
  • What kinds of compliance structures work to mitigate harassment? We need to understand the impacts of reporting requirements, training effectiveness, how the compliance office is related to other units, and how they navigate legal requirements and institutional policies.
  • Research on perpetrators should focus on correlates of harassment behavior: what attitudes, socialization, institutional structures, disciplinary norms, etc. allow or even foster harassment?
  • Bystander research is central to the topic of stopping harassment, and ally/ advocate training has proven effective in culture change. How can we reframe these research areas to incorporate intersectionality?
  • Professional societies have started to take lead roles in mitigating harassment behavior at their meetings. Do those interventions percolate back to the institutions of meeting attendees? How can professional societies work with universities to further the inclusion agenda? Are there other work sectors from which academic institutions can learn?
  • How is harassment experienced in different STEM fields? How do cultural norms of different disciplines either allow or mitigate harassment behavior? Where does harassment occur, and how does it depend on the working environment (especially for disciplines that require off-campus work)?
  • Institutional research relies almost exclusively on quantitative methods. Yet only qualitative research has been useful to date for understanding the experiences of individuals, as well as probing the structures that allow harassment to occur. How can institutions study harassment at the intersection of identities when disaggregation interferes with confidentiality? We either need new quantitative methods, or we must help institutions and policymakers develop and value qualitative research agendas.
  • Research on intersectionality should be explicitly tied to power dynamics. What are the power implications of different identities separately and together? How can individuals with multiple marginalized identities exploit that power dynamic?
  • How do victims of harassment cope? Are there key differences between survivors who leave the field and those that stay? What are the most effective coping strategies and how might institutions develop policies around them? What resources do victims need? How can longitudinal studies shed light on long-term effects of harassment?
  • Studies of harassment and/or support in social media are badly needed
  • This research is inherently multidisciplinary, requiring collaborations and multiple viewpoints to arrive at insight.
  • Harassment can occur in formal settings (e.g. faculty meetings). How can we best train leaders, especially department chairs, in conflict resolution/ bully control/ setting group norms for behavior/ appropriate use of academic freedom arguments?


Question 4:  When thinking about creating change in the academy so that inclusion and respect are the norm, what research areas emerge?


  • What are the cultural norms of different STEM disciplines and how can we shape interventions to take advantage of or change those norms?
  • How can professional societies and academic institutions partner to leverage their complementary strengths and knowledge bases to improve climate and prevent and address harassment? How can individuals who feel marginalized in their institution find support in professional societies? How can professional societies instigate change within academic institutions?
  • How can we use results of bystander intervention research to advance the inclusivity agenda?
  • What’s the role of social media in harassment today?
  • What makes interventions effective at multiple levels:  department/ college/ institution/ across-institutions?
  • What can or does research on harassment at minority-serving institutions teach us? What are the perceptions, policies, reporting mechanisms, or experiences there?  Given the differences in mission and history at different MSIs (e.g. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which have a deeply rooted history and mission, compared to many Hispanic-Serving Institutions, which receive designation based on Hispanic student enrollment), are there important differences across MSIs and between those and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs)?  For example, research could explore experiences of Black Women/Black Women in the LGBTQ community at HBCUs compared to PWIs where black women are more isolated from one another. What training programs exist/could exist to address experiences of sexual harassment at minority serving institutions?  
  • Local culture is important. For example, states vary in their laws, behavior norms, and beliefs about marginalized groups; similarly, urban versus rural campuses can have very different community demographics that affect accepted norms. We need data to connect individuals’ experience of harassment to the local culture. Furthermore, we must understand how local laws restrict our ability to collect data that can compare to other locales.
  • What can we do about the informal service and labor analysis of women faculty, especially women of color?
  •  What are the unique characteristics, histories and cultures in STEM that moderate the questions we are asking?
    • Intervening – institutional, personal
    • Perceptions of harassment
    • Experiences of those in various social identities
    • Institutional and personal responses
  •  What are the responses of faculty/staff/instructors/administrators when a student/colleague comes to them to share a harassment experience? How prepared do faculty/staff/instructors/administrators feel to field these questions and concerns from their students, colleagues, etc.? In what ways do faculty/staff/instructors/administrators cope with secondary trauma? In what ways do these vary by other demographic factors?
  •  What Incentives/methods work to address resistance to change by STEM professionals?
  •  Where are the major areas of misalignment across laws, institutional policies, training/ compliance programs, and live experiences regarding harassment?
  •  We often think of power and privilege as either/or, but we know that people can have privilege around some aspects of their identities in some settings and be marginalized in others. When people have multiple marginalized identities, how can they leverage the varying levels of power connected to each?
  •  What impacts do or might social justice or community justice response models have on mitigating harm?  What are best practices?
  •  How can we convince funders that longitudinal studies have value?
  •  What is STEM’s relationship to marginalized communities historically and in the contemporary? How do social issues contribute to the culture of STEM (in terms of values hierarchy)?


Across all these questions, the World Café discussions generated important themes for framing research questions, which are given in more detail in Appendix III.


            Day 2


Participants were asked “What question or set of questions above, if answered, will make the greatest contribution to reducing identity-based harassment in academia?”


Answers to that question allowed us to organize four groups according to personal interest. Each group was asked to refine the research question and then to develop a research agenda to include:

  • What research methods will be most useful for answering these questions?
  • What interdisciplinary perspectives might be helpful? 
  • What new collaborations might foster research in this area?
  • How might policies, practices and programs be influenced by research in this area?



Priority Research Area 1: Put “gas on the fire” of harassment research


This group was motivated by urgency, and the desire to move from research to prevention, response, and intervention. The discussion highlighted tensions between implementing prevention programs and providing effective immediate response and support to victims. This group discussed the need for a) high-level context-oriented understanding of harassment (what social norms and cultural practices distinguish different STEM fields and how do these shape experiences of harassment); b) the need to understand resistance to change and how it shapes communication and intervention needs, e.g. how department culture can incorporate understanding of and responses to harassment; c) what moderating influences are likely to be involved in the efficacy of interventions (e.g. enlisting advocates and allies, training bystanders); and d) how to keep central the needs and knowledge of victims/survivors/targets as we study these issues.


Research on prevention, intervention, and response should be attentive to the needs of victims/survivors/targets both in the data collection process and in reporting and use of the findings. When done appropriately, participating in relevant studies can have healing and supportive effects for participants, especially when research findings and implications advocate for specific changes that can be made at the institutional and structural levels to ameliorate harm and prevent future occurrences (Cook et al., 2015). Understanding what makes individuals leave STEM and what allows them to stay after experiencing harassment is an important part of this research. Multiple disciplinary approaches are needed and should include individual, interpersonal, and institutional perspectives.



Priority Research Area 2: Value all knowledge production


This group was inspired by the synergy achieved in the workshop from having multiple disciplines focused on a single research area. Perspectives from anthropology, sociology, psychology, social work, and the natural sciences all contributed to identifying more holistic questions concerning identity-based harassment. The most important issues that require a multidisciplinary approach are:

  • What incentives and currency are needed to engage resistant faculty in individual diversity efforts?
  • How do we keep these issues salient when the rewards system trains faculty to focus on short-term productivity and individual accomplishments?
  • How can we enhance the rewards system to include equity and inclusion work? How can we explicitly align faculty members’ individual career goals with institutional rhetoric about inclusion?
  • How can an institution leverage those individuals who are committed to the inclusion agenda to advance institutional goals?
  • What are the unique values of HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions that have highly diverse faculties[3] and how are the experiences of individuals with marginalized identities different there?
  • How can institutions value and incorporate community knowledge as they address harassment?
  • Are programs like the AAAS Sea Change – which tracks metrics for STEM equity – effective? How can the practice of collecting and reporting such data inform us about the real goal — shifts in local culture?


Priority Research Area 3: Spotlight Research on STEM Women of Color in Minority-Serving Institutions

HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other Minority-Serving institutions (MSIs) enroll many students and house many faculty members from groups under-represented in STEM. Because many of these institutions have an explicit commitment to racial inclusion, they represent a fertile environment for asking questions about identity-based harassment from an intersectionality perspective. This group focused on the experiences of STEM women of color in institutions that serve large numbers of students from underrepresented groups, collectively labelled MSIs. These institutions encompass the entire range of Carnegie classifications, from 2-year colleges through to doctoral, research-intensive universities, which provides further opportunities for understanding the experiences of undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty WOC as a function of institutional mission. Comparing and contrasting those experiences is also an explicit strategy of this research.

The group’s goal: Understanding/identifying policies/practices/cultures that contribute to inclusion. That goal is served by an explicit research outline that 1) acknowledges that harassment takes many forms, from stereotyping and implicit bias through inclusionary/exclusionary behavior to outright assault and violence; and 2) recognizes that inferences may be constrained by how qualitative data are collected. Thus, questions need to be framed positively (have you experienced positive support?) as well as negatively (what has hindered your progress?) to probe how responses might differ depending on how the questions are framed.

The group also agreed to define STEM broadly, to include the natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences; for some research questions, the experiences of individuals in allied fields (health sciences, agriculture) may be germane as well. They spent considerable time talking about specifics of the research agenda, including sampling techniques, and desired metrics. They identified potential funding sources for the research project and developed a strategy for moving towards the goal of writing a proposal.



Priority Research Area 4: Shift the focus from institutional liability to harm mitigation as the framework for responding to harassment complaints


This group focused on exploring institutional response models. Processes for addressing identity-based harassment should shift from a liability-avoidance compliance model toward an approach that centers on and addresses harm. Of course, institutions must be mindful of regulations, laws, and policies that structure some aspects of their prevention and response work. Yet we could also reduce the harm the processes themselves create and instead focus on the harm individuals affected by harassment are experiencing.

Harm mitigation is already used in some university settings. Academic medical centers, like other hospitals, have learned that admitting mistakes can often reduce liability: patients and their families who feel heard and validated are less likely to sue for damages. Similarly, for some types of student misconduct, community service is accepted as a valid remedy for harm caused to the community (from loud parties, inappropriate behavior in public, and the like). Rooted in the concept of restorative justice, the harm mitigation strategy focuses on hurt inflicted and compensatory behavior. This approach has been applied in the European Union to workplace bullying and harassment with striking results.

The group’s research agenda includes studying those interventions and documenting effectiveness in a variety of contexts. Connecting cost effectiveness to other important metrics like risk reduction or faculty and staff retention will be essential. Reaching out to practitioners and legal scholars will enhance the research programs as well.

Changing the university mindset from liability to harm mitigation will require capturing the attention of numerous groups, including CEOs of university hospitals, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, compliance officers, Student Affairs professionals, and influential organizations like the American Association of Universities, the  College and University Professional Association, and the (National Academies).

Specific Research Questions:

  1. What do we already know about harm mitigation as an approach already in place in academic settings? Can that knowledge inform prevention/ intervention programs?
  2. What are the barriers to expanding harm mitigation principles in other fields/areas to address identity-based harassment in the academy?
  3. What recommendations for partnerships and action moving forward can we offer?


Research methods would include:

  • Directed interviews and focus groups with people doing this work in academic contexts
  • Literature reviews of restorative justice and harm mitigation
  • Collecting data from vulnerable populations for their opinions of a harm-mitigation approach. For example, post docs and graduate students are often targets of identity-based harassment, and we would need to understand if this response would be acceptable.
  • Collaborations: This agenda will require experts in law, restorative justice, and compliance, as well as the social sciences



Additional Research Frontiers


Participants identified additional questions worthy of research. We could only choose four for deep dives, and there was great enthusiasm for these areas as well (in random order):


  • Influence of social media in generating and/or ameliorating harassment
  • Influence of local/state policy on how data are collected (e.g. giving space to respondents to identify as mixed or multiple race(s), a variety of genders)
  • Faculty views of compliance and management training: how do we move the needle from compliance to commitment to inclusion?
  • Advocates and allies: how do we design programs and how effective are they?
  • Bystander research: how do we train for reactive bystanders? What tools do they need most? What promotes or hinders people from reacting in the moment?
  • Role of professional societies in STEM culture change: Are interventions practiced by professional societies effective in reducing harassment in higher education generally? How can we capture synergy between the work done in societies and that done in colleges and universities?
  • University Compliance structures: what makes them effective? What are the roles of Presidents/ Provost/University Attorney/Board of Trustees?
  • How does the experience of harassment depend on place (lab, office, field site, conference, lab meetings, informal gatherings, et al)?
  • What new methods might researchers use to study intersectionality when the numbers are small?
  • What are the best practices for leadership training in creating inclusive campuses?
  • Concepts of academic freedom: some faculty resist policies because they believe it infringes on their right to free speech/ academic freedom. How do faculty think about academic freedom and its relationship to changing cultural norms?
  • What disciplinary norms across STEM fields either foster or discourage harassment? How do social norms for interactions in professional settings, such as conferences and meetings, support or discourage identity-harassment?
  • What differentiates victims who stay versus those that leave the discipline?





The workshop was very successful in engaging a diverse group of scholars. Having multiple perspectives (disciplinary, institutional, career stage, personal identities) allowed us to pinpoint several research priorities for studying Identity-based Harassment of interest to the broader research and practitioner community. Participants themselves indicated strong interest in pursuing some of these frontiers.


Even so, we also recognize that the larger community of scholars and practitioners committed to inclusive and safe cultures in STEM must contribute to this discussion. We therefore ask for feedback from researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. How would you answer the questions we explored during the workshop? What are your thoughts on our list? What did we miss? Which questions do you think should have highest priority? What are you particularly interested in pursuing?


Please post your feedback (anonymously is fine) on the website by November 15, 2019: https://equityinstem.org/id-based-harassment/. Alternatively, you may communicate with us directly via email: arc@equityinstem.org. Once the community feedback period closes, we will incorporate the feedback with that detailed in this workshop report to produce a research agenda that we will share back with the community in January 2020.


Metcalf, H. & Russell, A. (2018). Intersectionality: A critical framework for STEM equity. Association for Women in Science, Washington, DC. Retrieved from https://awis.org/intersectionality/.


Atherton, T.J., Barthelemy, R.S., Deconinck, D., Falk, M. L., & Savannah Garmon, E. (2016). LGBT climate in physics: Building an inclusive community. American Physical Society Special Report.


Aycock, L.B., E. K. Brewe, R.M. Clancy, R.M. Goertzen, Z. Hazari, T. Hodapp, E.G. Cohn, N. Hamilton, & Larson, E.L. (2017). Sexual harassment reported among a sample of undergraduate women in physics. Journal of Community Genetics, 8, 229. Retrieved from http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016APS..DMP.D1185A


Baez, B. (2007). Thinking critically about the “critical:” Quantitative research as social critique. New Directions for Institutional Research, 133, 17-23.


Berry, M., Chávez Arguelles, C., Cordis, S., Imhoud, S., Velásquez Estrada, E. (2017). Toward a fugitive anthropology: Gender, race, and violence in the field. Cultural Anthropology, 32(4): 537-565. Retrieved from https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.14506/ca32.4.05.


Clancy, K., Lee, K., Rodgers, E., Richey, C. (2017). Double jeopardy in astronomy and planetary science: Women of color face greater risks of gendered and racial harassment. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 122, 1610-1623.


Cook, S. L., Swartout, K. M., Goodnight, B. L., Hipp, T. N., & Bellis, A. (2015). Impact of violence research on participants over time: Helpful, harmful, or neither?. Psychology of violence5(3), 314–324. doi:10.1037/a0038442

Collins, P. H. (2015). Intersectionality’s definitional dilemma. Annual Review of Sociology. 41: 1-20. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-073014-112142

Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1, 139-167. Retrieved from https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclf/vol1989/iss1/8/

Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color. Stanford Law Review 43(6): 1241-1299. Retrieve from https://www.jstor.org/stable/1229039

Dobbin, F. & Kalev, A. (2019). The promise and peril of sexual harassment programs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(25):12255-12260. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818477116

Griffin, K.A., & Museus, A. (Eds.). (2011). Using mixed-methods to study intersectionality in higher education. New Directions in Institutional Research, 151. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/1536075x/2011/2011/151.


Metcalf, H., Russell, D., & Hill, C. (2018). Broadening the science of broadening participation in STEM through critical mixed methodologies and intersectionality frameworks. American Behavioral Scientist, 63(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764218768872


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Sexual harassment of women: Climate, culture, and consequences in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24994.



Appendix I. Workshop Agenda



Emerging research Themes

Identity-based harassment



Workshop goal — 

Identify emerging research themes and directions for new research in the area of identity-based harassment, with an emphasis on intersectionality.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

  • Participant arrival, registration
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Introductions and review of planned agenda. Additional thoughts welcomed

Monday, July 22, 2019

8:00 AM

Working Breakfast



Introduction to the Workshop



Partner Introductions



Networking Break



Small Group Discussions








Developing shared understanding for a research roadmap

Participants will engage in a series of conversations designed to elicit varying perspectives, develop shared understanding, and reach conclusion about emerging research areas on identity-based harassment



Networking Break




Resume conversations






Outcomes of Monday afternoon’s conversations: 

·        A vision of inclusion and respect in academia 

·        Research areas and issues calling for attention in the area of identity harassment using intersectionality as a framework



Working Dinner


TUESDAY, JULY 23, 2019

8:00 AM




Large Group Discussion



3-5 self-organized groups by research areas/issues (those identified on Monday)


Each small group will answer this question for their relevant area/issue:  Given this research area/issue, what question or set of questions, if answered, will make the greatest contribution to reducing identity harassment in academia?



Networking Break



Report outs from the small groups



Working Lunch


2:00 PM

Discussion on next steps



Meeting Adjourned






Appendix II. Bulleted responses to the four World Café questions


Question 1:  What does inclusion look like in academia?


  • Not just the absence of exclusion; affirmative; supportive
  • Micro-affirmations do not focus on identities because it removes it from the interaction
  • Inviting collaboration
  • Leadership positions are crucial – practice not just talk
  • There’s more awareness of how inclusion might look for students
  • Diversity is having a seat, inclusion is having a voice
  • Leaders need resources to promote inclusion
  • There are still a lot of “firsts” – “first black woman to get a PhD”
  • “Academia” is still an exclusive space, so we don’t know what it looks like
  • Staff are left out of many discussions; many of them are students as well
  • Then there are differences among TT/Adjunct – really about power structures and hierarchies
  • Inclusion is equitable access to resources and decision-making power
  • Demographic congruent is a moving target and this is not useful. It should be informative, not prescriptive
  • Inclusion involves diversity in numbers but must involve decision-making
  • Inclusion is a process and you’re never done
  • Pipeline strategies fail because they don’t change the power structure
  • Inclusive practices cannot depend on good will or individual leaders
  • Practices:  transparency, expand search criteria especially for leaders
  • Multicultural does not equal color-blind
  • Setting demographic goals can cause focus on demographics, not cultural shifts
  • Also, difficult to fold intersectionality into goals
  • Yet putting goals in keeps a focus on inclusion
  • Inclusion is asking who is not at the table
  • Respect for each person’s knowledge production, epistemology, pedagogy
    • Undoing hierarchy/patriarchy/colonialism/heterosexism
    • Disciplinary
    • Methodological
  • Safety
  • Celebratory
  • Inherently valuable
  • Opening academy to outside world
    • Connecting to community
    • Community expertise
    • Lived experience + perspective
  • Representation beyond the theoretical – especially as leaders
    • Students see themselves reflected in faculty, staff and administration AND in the issues they care about
    • Beyond numeric representation
  • Structural, cultural change; critical analysis
  • Rewarding/incentivizing
  • Aligning words + action — moving beyond lip service to meaningful action
  • Integrity
  • Not all voices should have a platform
  • Being open to hear something you don’t want to hear (not just platitudes)
  • Opinions v facts
  • Acknowledge truth
  • Privilege awareness
  • Open to growth
  • Not tokenism
  • Micro-affirmations
  • Not a zero-sum game/scarcity
  • Belonging
  • Ethical
  • Accountability
  • Can we ever have a true meritocracy?
  • Socially JUST 
  • Validating voices more than just numbers. What does it mean to do this in our various fields?
  • Do our policies/practices lead everyone to feel like they belong?
  • Emerges from norms and practices
  • Create space where people can thrive; can explore and create
  • Ability to be authentic without fear; won’t be attributed to my identity
  • Extent to which people feel like they can take risks
  • Awareness of imports of social positions on a student’s experience, i.e. when talking about families, talk about many types
  • Don’t talk about diversity in tokenizing ways
  • Value contributions of diverse persons and activities. How do we value service and other tasks given to diverse persons?
  • Need of visibility and respecting differences; it’s okay to value different things
  • Understand when certain acts perpetuate injustice on others
  • Elevating diverse voices doesn’t take away from others
  • Uphold and support diverse perspectives
  • Teach yourself and learn about your students who are different from you
  • Ways to address problematic behavior by the tenured faculty
  • Responsibility for maintaining a safe and equitable environment
  • Expectations for professional behaviors coming from the top down
  • Provide incentives to promote these activities
  • Recognition of work of under-rep faculty who support students’ needs
  • Respect
  • Intersectionality as a framework
  • We must be mindful of intersectional identities + structures. Without it, can’t be inclusive
    • Every individual can participate fully; without barriers
  • A culture that cultivates full experience of individuals
  • A blind spot is only looking at people, but should also look at curriculum
    • Bringing in people (international) and making them fit into norms
  • Representation matters!  Diversity is not the only portion of inclusion. D&I are two different things
  • Curriculum + training opportunities look like you; honors + awards are to people without issues
  • Confidence + expression — support of this
  • Can express full self, safely
  • Safe to express self without consequences
  • How do you honor someone/something who isn’t honorable?
  • Inclusion does not mean lack of challenge
  • Recognize the value of D&I
  • Intentionally + impactful
  • Continuous improvement target/process
  • Positive models + incentives — celebrate successes
  • You are entitled to your own opinions but not to make your own facts


Question 2:  What do we know today about identity-based harassment and intersectionality?


  • LGBTQ, minorities have higher incidence of violence
  • True both above and below the sea level:
    • Micro-aggressions
    • Selective incivility
    • People with multiple marginalized identities are more vulnerable
  • Invisibility can range from passive to…
  • Institutional culture affects incidences of harassment (will I be believed?  And perpetrators sanctioned?
  • We’re still in the whisper network:  we have a good understanding of how policies vary across institutions?
  • Policies reflect administrators rather than vulnerable populations
  • Victim voices are not folded into policies
  • Your expertise depends on location. Policies do not reflect nature of intersectionality research
  • Higher education ignores social class when it describes intersectionality; mostly gender and race
  • LGTBQ:  What was your gender at birth?  What is it now?
  • New ways to ask that can … important health info, etc.
  • With more marginalization comes more incidents of micro-aggression which folds into further marginalization
  • Intersectionality is not additive, and it changes the way the harassment example
  • Push for big data and quantitative methods mean these populations are ignored
  • We need new methodologies to figure out how to learn about intersectional issues
  • Victims are not guinea pigs, and some will not participate in another study
  • University self-reporting skews data
  • Advocacy must work for individuals:  access to resources drives culture change
  • Difficult for intersectional people to know they are being harassed
  • Sexism (mixed in with racism) is alive and festering
  • Endorsement of traditional gender roles that lead to gender-based harassment
  • Can prevent (hopefully) if you address risk factors such as hyper masculinity, heteronormative gender roles, substance use
  • Longevity of bigots in the department and that their culture is passed down
  • Every university has a policy against it
  • Most harassment goes unreported
  • Some people who report harassment may report retaliation. This fear silences people
  • Harassment may happen toward to methods and research as … attacks on the person. May not look like identity-based harassment, but is
  • Women and people of color have to work twice as hard for same recognition
  • Can be successful hiding identity and still be harassed
  • People with low voices more likely to be promoted
  • Unearned benefits or privilege
  • Unconscious bias for majority people
  • Message of inequality hasn’t gotten through
  • Most research is not intersectional – usually based on a single ID factor
  • Compounding effect – women of color experience a racialized gendered harassment
  • Happens at every level
  • Intersectionality can create both invisibility and hypervisibility
  • Harassment is both within group and without group
  • Varies based on visibility of identities
  • Commentary-based bias often happens outside earshot of target group – not necessarily able to capture/quantify
  • Intersectionality creates confidentiality/anonymity issues sometimes
  • Retaliation is a problem (+ researchers need to be sensitive to this)
  • Research tends to focus on those still in the field, not those who have left field-level “survivor analysis”
  • Interventions + models not yet well tested
  • Shaming/blaming doesn’t work
  • Institutional change is slow
  • Compliance-based training doesn’t work
  • Addressing subtle forms is necessary to addressing not-so-subtle forms
  • Contexts outside of workplace influence experience of harassment, including political environment
  • Institutions have structural oppression that shapes harassment
  • Institutions lack policies for meaningful ways of addressing
  • Compliance-focused, not people-focused
  • Hierarchical bias by student/faculty/staff/TT/non-TT
  • People cope in different ways and “choose” or have different options/resources for redress available
  • Harassment undermines productivity
  • Not everyone recognizes it when it happens to them
  • Fear of speaking out; always costs something and are lower for non-target groups… shaped by cultural factors
  • Disciplinary norms share harassment context — toxic masculinity norms
  • Harassment is about power
  • Policy protections — some ID’s covered, others not and the combo gets especially challenging
  • Black women — life characterized by so many factors
    • Multi-oppressed and leads to vulnerability
  • We don’t know much because the research doesn’t tell us much
  • Multiple identities do not equal intersectionality
  • Power plays an important part
  • The people who should be focused on this, are not
  • Law is not intersectional
  • Intersectionality reminds us oppression + discrimination — not aspirational
  • Representation matters in reducing identity-based harassment — research
  • Social media – hard to escape
  • We don’t know what role social media/pop culture play in mitigating/fueling harassment
  • Org structures, programming — not aware of programs that address intersectionality
    • Difficult to discuss in academia
    • Academia slow to change
  • Doesn’t focus on workload, resource allocation without equitable support
  • More vulnerable


Question 3:  What’s missing from the research on identity-based harassment using intersectionality as a framework?  About what issues do we need more clarity?


  • How do we train first responders?  The first stop is probably NOT a line authority but a friend/colleague
  • First stop institutional reports:  how can they be allies/advocates vs. victim blamer. The problem is stopping the process
  • How many levels fuel
  • There is a big gap between policies and the way they are understood. There’s not a lot of support for people to make good decisions
  • Need better models for how to train; having a website is not good enough
  • It would be helpful to share across universities – legal advice is about minimizing liability
  • Harm mitigation is better than liability avoidance in every arena across the legal system:  medicine, tools
  • Because most will talk to a friend first. Bystander effect research is important
  • We do know some predictors of bad behavior
  • What makes training successful?  We actually know about this, but we don’t know how to make it accessible, especially in larger institutions
  • How do we balance due process to the accused with protection of alleged victim?
  • Allies programs being trained on intersectionality. How do bystanders intervene when there is no victim (i.e. men being annoyed by dirty jokes)?
  • Bystander training is very effective in Greek systems – more reporting happens/fewer incidents occur. How can we increase the scope? 
  • If the institution does not accept the responsibility to do the training, how else can units do it by themselves?
  • Professional societies trying – does it percolate back to universities?
  • We don’t know if harassment takes different forms for different intersectional modes/differences in different environments
  • Is there a work sector from which academic can learn?
  • Community-based accountability – how can we provide … interventions?
  • Doxxing, mobbing behavior
  • What does identity mean?  How is gender defined?
  • How is it experienced in different STEM fields?
  • What can we learn from others?
  • Stop camouflaging non-majority groups to majority groups
  • Disaggregate WOC
  • How to develop STEM professionals … safe as a full person?
  • Research that can explain interventions, … oriented research
  • More positive oriented research, helping people
  • Research incentivized to help students and not careers
  • What are effective coping strategies to survive?
  • Research on what is effective to push back against ignorant colleagues
  • What supports are needed to advance during different stages of their careers
  • What works?
  • When people have multiple IDs in experiencing harassment, what are the associated power dynamics?
  • Dearth of longitudinal data on the impacts of harassment?  Especially for multiple marginalities
  • What, in this trajectory, do people seek out as resources ($, therapy, social, legal) in response to harassment experiences?
  • What are the biomarker impacts on individuals over time?
  • Can we create/access a set of resources that are cross-disciplinary so people can more easily see what’s out there?
  • What incentives are necessary to value/encourage multi-disciplinary work on this topic?  Valuing the social sci/social justice/humanities work?
  • Grantors
  • Institutions
  • Boards
  • How can we leverage different fields of knowledge?  And different communication mechanisms, ex. Social media and Hawaii protests
  • STEM and culture not dichotomous
  • Money, cultural value, awareness, translation to policy/practice/action
  • Need to define clearly/specifically what we’re talking about especially re: intersectionality
  • Intersectionality needs to be about power structures not just aggregating/disaggregating
  • Intersectionality needs to connect to serving population of focus
  • Other marginalized groups (e.g. poor white people) see themselves as not being part of D&I efforts yet/not owning privilege
  • Class as a dimension
  • When we say people of color, are we including Asian people in STEM?
  • Partnering with departments, scholars who have the needed expertise
  • Gaps between research, policy and individual experience
  • What incentivizes people to engage in self-reflection, learning, behavioral change?
  • University compliance structures – what works, what doesn’t?  Be a person/develop trust
  • “Putting humanity back into compliance.” 
  • How department chairs learn how to do conflict resolution?
  • Restorative justice – past misunderstanding/misuse
  • Community justice
  • Prevention strategy v reaction
  • How does “Academic Freedom” get misconstrued to perpetuate exclusionary behavior/speech?
  • How is harassment experience in different STEM fields by different groups/subgroups?  Context of labs, field work
  • What can we do about it?
  • Accountability structures?
  • Teaching people skills they need. Need to understand norms
  • How to convince legal teams to go beyond compliance
  • Need to understand and hear examples of these experiences
  • What are the steps?  What are people at the next level going to do?  Who do I talk to?
  • Structures are necessary but insufficient
  • Policies are part of reference for people who violate rules of engagement
  • How to reach those not receptive to this work
  • Restorative justice
  • Leaders don’t want to own situations publicly
  • Prevalence
  • Qualitative data
  • Positive experiences
  • Better measure for inclusion and behaviors
  • What do targets want?  We know what they don’t want
  • How to make this relevant across roles?
  • Teaching people to handle these situations
  • We don’t know system impact – after people attend trainings
  • How to deal with resistance
  • What role does trolling/virtual harassment play in shaping climate for staff and students?


Question 4:  When thinking about creating change in the academy so that inclusion and respect are the norm, what research areas emerge?


  • What are the cultural norms of different STEM disciplines and how can we shape interventions to take advantage of those norms?
  • How can professional societies and academic institutions leverage each other? How can individuals who feel marginalized in their institution find support in professional societies? How can professional societies instigate change in their discipline’s departments?
  • How can we use results of bystander intervention research to advance the inclusivity agenda?
  • What’s the role of social media in harassment today?
  • Describe effective interventions at multiple levels:  department/organizational/inter-minority serving universities
  • Research on harassment at minority-serving universities – What are the perceptions?  How do they differ from “traditional” institutions?  Explore the intersectionality of experiences of Black Women/Black Women in the LGBTQ community
  • State characteristics – survey of how data varies regionally – questions around the broader culture
  • What do we do about the informal service and labor analysis of women faculty of color?
  • What are the training programs that exist/could exist to address victims of sexual harassment with minority serving institutions? 
  • What are the unique characteristics, histories and cultures in STEM that moderate the questions we are asking?
    • Intervening – institutional, personal
    • Perceptions of harassment
    • Experiences of those in various social identities
    • Institutional and personal responses
  • Faculty/staff/instructor/administration for handling when a student/colleague comes to them to share a harassment experience
  • Incentives/methods for getting STEM researchers to listen to us/to validate our work (academic currency) – addressing resistance to change
  • (Mis)alignment between approaches from various compliance offices v target needs v law v NASEM recs
  • When people have multiple ID’s how do they leverage the varying levels of power connected to each of those identities?
  • What impacts do or might social justice response models have on mitigating harm?  What are best practices?
  • Maybe?  Could a research question or a recommendation be:  How do funders value different methodologies?  Longitudinal undervalued
  • STEM’s relationship to marginalized communities; role of social issues in STEM (in terms of values hierarchy)

Appendix III. General themes that emerged from the World Café

  • Protect
  • Create/develop models
  • Methods
  • Managing hypervisibility yet invisibility
  • Locations of STEM research
  • Reducing resistance
  • Resource distribution
  • Safety
  • What is valued; educate to help change culture
  • Hidden labor
  • Accountability
  • Community
  • Leaders
  • Center vulnerable and marginalized voices
  • Harm mitigation
  • University compliance
  • Specific STEM fields
  • Interventions
  • Individual identities
  • Lens of bias
  • Institution responsibility – New training
  • Economic impact/value of increased accountability
  • Evaluation
  • Connect money to incentives



[1] Corresponding author. Please send comments to williams@awis.org.

[2] These include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and more.

[3] Many MSIs have majority-white faculty.