The field of economics recently found itself in the #MeToo spotlight after a survey conducted by the American Economic Association (AEA) revealed shocking allegations of widespread gender and race discrimination. This revelation has sent seismic shockwaves throughout the industry and beyond. Yet, the women who claim they were sexually assaulted, stalked, or otherwise treated shamefully because of their gender are finally getting a chance to set the record straight.
The High Cost of Harassment
Sexual harassment is a travesty in any field, especially one such as economics that has routinely tried to attract high-quality women. By creating a hostile working environment, leaders in economics have set their profession up for serious problems. The AEA conducted research from thousands of returned surveys and uncovered that not only have female economists been suffering quietly, but they adopted silence as a protective response mechanism. In fact, about half said they would not speak up at career development functions and meetings for fear of retribution from their colleagues. Not only does this limit the power of economics to become globally innovative, but it could lead to fewer women working in that field. Thus, the economics industry might find itself on unstable ground without serious changes.
Protective Measures from the AEA
To its credit, the AEA has vowed to address this problem head-on and spur change across the board. Some of the methods the organization is planning to use to curtail inappropriate behaviors and full-fledged assault include:
- Appointing an investigator for sexual harassment complaints
- Punishing AEA anti-harassment code violators by taking away formerly earned awards
- Creating a vehicle to impose professional sanctions against those found guilty of sexual harassment charges
Ending a Culture of Discrimination
Despite the AEA’s efforts, the only way to rid economics of its now-tarnished reputation is to make gender discrimination and harassment completely unacceptable. Although this will take years, it can start with progressive, well-regarded economists advocating for equitable treatment among colleagues. This has started to occur on certain levels. Last year, a male economist was publicly accused of creating a hostile work environment and sexually harassing employees. His case is still under review by Harvard University and he has not been fully stripped of his ability to work. However, this case is a step in the right direction as victims come forward.
Montgomery County Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Those Suffering from Gender Discrimination
Speaking up against workplace harassment can be stressful and difficult. If you were treated inappropriately at work because of your gender or race, the Montgomery County employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.