Paper No. 182-9
Presentation Time: 3:55 PM
TRANSFORMING WORKPLACE CLIMATE THROUGH BEHAVIORAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE, RESULTS FROM A GEOSCIENCES WORKPLACE CLIMATE SURVEY BY THE ADVANCEGEO PARTNERSHIP
Persistently underserved groups in STEM report working in hostile environments. The NSF-funded ADVANCEGeo Partnership leverages multi-organizational collaborations to influence academic culture by catalyzing community engagement to tackle systemic exclusionary behaviors. A community-based model for bystander intervention education is at the center of ADVANCEGeo’s work. The program’s focus on intersectionality addresses persistent trends in underrepresentation and exclusion of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in scientific fields, like the geosciences, that have experienced positive, if sometimes small, increases in the representation of white women. An intersectional framework also responds to the challenges associated with an expectation of field work, by recognizing that safety in field training and research needs to address sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia. By promoting ethical codes that identify harassment, bullying, and discrimination as research misconduct in partnership with professional associations, ADVANCEGeo aims to transform workplace culture in our discipline.
A geosciences workplace climate survey reveals that more than 25% of respondents experienced insulting remarks, devaluation of work and efforts, and bullying or intimidating behavior at least in the prior 12 months. Groups persistently excluded and underrepresented in the geosciences experience disproportionately more negative workplace climates. For example, non-binary (53%) and women (43%) scientists were more likely to experience devaluation of their work as compared to men (26%) and approximately three times more respondents who identify as a woman (15.8%) or non binary (13.3%) feared for their safety, as compared to men (5.8%). As a consequence of this environment, over 50% of women and non-binary persons, as well as individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual or other non-heterosexual orientation reported considering leaving their current institution or profession. Experiences of gender harassment, intimidation, and other exclusionary behaviors have consequences for individual careers and for the discipline. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice interventions in the earth and space sciences need to address hostile climates if they are going to succeed in transforming the discipline.