Lab life. This is a damning observation for the world of research. According to a Ipsos international survey for the L’Oréal Foundationpublished Thursday, March 16, almost one in two female scientists (49% exactly) said they had been “personally confronted with at least one situation of sexual harassment during her career”. The survey was conducted on the Internet from July 30 to September 16, 2022 in 117 countries on 5,184 scientists (2,269 in France), 76% of whom are women. The vast majority of respondents (75%) work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in fifty different institutions (77% public institutions).
One of the first lessons of this survey is that, obviously, the #metoo revolution has not crossed the doors of a scientific world that is still very masculine. Indeed, for almost half of the women who say they are victims, this sexual harassment took place after the emergence of the movement, in 2017, and for almost a quarter of them in the last two years.
Another lesson: it is the young researchers who are most often harassed. The survey shows that two thirds of them say they have been at least once at the start of their career. And for 65% of women, these situations had a negative impact on their career, 25% also say they felt in danger in their workplace.
80% of female researchers confronted with sexism
What is striking in the results of this survey is the difficulty in talking about it. While half of the women concerned reported acts of sexual harassment to those around them, only one in five did so within their institution. As for the witnesses, omerta reigns. Nearly one out of two researchers acknowledges having witnessed at least one situation of sexual harassment throughout their career, but barely half of them have denounced the facts they witnessed. To the question “why didn’t you alert? “, men tend to minimize situations more: 20% of them consider “that there was no need to intervene, the situation did not seem so serious” or “the target person did not seem upset”. The fear of reprisals is also one of the explanations for this silence.
Sexism also seems to reign supreme. Inappropriate remarks, use of nicknames “doll, kitty…”, insults, intrusive questions about private or sexual life… More than eight out of ten women claim to have been personally confronted with them during their career. In January, the High Council for Equality between Women and Men concluded that sexism “Do not back down in France. On the contrary, it persists and its most violent manifestations are getting worse..
You have 35.51% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.
Source: Le Monde