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Survey: Many female economists subjected to abuse or harassment

One would hope that, in all professions, the workplace culture would be such that everyone in the field would feel safe and respected. Unfortunately, some fields have a culture that strays very far from this. A recent survey raises concerns that economics may be one such profession.

The survey was by the American Economic Association. Over 9,000 past and present members of this organization answered the survey.

Among the things those surveyed were asked about was whether they had ever faced mistreatment from colleagues or peers. Of the female economists who responded to the survey:

  • Over a fifth reported facing unwanted sexual advances
  • Hundreds reported having been touched inappropriately or stalked
  • Nearly 200 reported being the victim of attempted assault
  • Nearly 100 reported having been sexually assaulted

Leaders in the economics field have expressed alarm and concern over the findings of this survey. The American Economic Association recently announced it is taking various steps to fight discrimination and harassment in the profession. What would you like to see done to create a safer and more respectful culture in the field of economics?

The sad current reality is that there are many different fields in which workers can end up facing a toxic culture and sexual abuse or harassment from peers, colleagues or superiors. It is important for workplace sexual abuse survivors to know that they don’t have to fight for justice alone. For one, skilled survivors’ rights attorneys can be an important source of experienced and compassionate advocacy and support.

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