Gender in the field


In our first meeting, on March 30th, we addressed the issue of gender in scientific fieldwork. Here’s the guiding literature we based our discussions on.

Clancy, Kathryn BH, Robin G. Nelson, Julienne N. Rutherford, and Katie Hinde. “Survey of academic field experiences (SAFE): Trainees report harassment and assault.” PLoS One 9, no. 7 (2014): e102172.

Science’s sexual assult problem

Here’s another interesting related link that wasn’t on the original list of literature: 26 Percent of Female Scientists Say They’ve Been Sexually Assaulted Doing Fieldwork

And here are the meeting’s minutes:

Points from Gender Perspectives Meeting – April 6, 2017

Some recommendations for PIs:

  • code of conduct for all in the lab. This could be agreed to by all new teammates, and posted prominently around
  • field work introduction
    • what is and isn’t allowed
    • how problems and conflicts will be handled as they arise.

Some general questions that we had:

  • where should sexual harassment and assault be reported?
    • PIs ought to know this, or have it right at hand
    • There is a policy, in Swedish only, on medarbeteportalen
  • What does general conflict resolution look like at the university?
  • Is there training in how to deal with harassment? Is this generally available to all managers, or is it only for the miljö people?
  • What kind of structural support is there for employees of the university, particularly if they have been harassed or assaulted by someone who is not associated with the university?

How to support a student in ‘tough’ field work situations

  • Keeping in mind that Clancy et al. 2014 found only a very small minority of harassers or assaulters were local to the field site, as opposed to associated with the field site as researchers.
  • Early, explicit conversations about what a worst case scenario would look like in the field site, and what the protocol should be if this happens.
  • Use of the ‘buddy system?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *