Anita Hill Joins Wellesley and MIT to Discuss Recent Report on Sexual Harassment in STEM

September 19, 2018
President Johnson speaks on a panel with Anita Hill and an MIT professor.

Wellesley College President Paula A. Johnson joined lawyer, activist, and Brandeis professor Anita Hill and Sheila Widnall, MIT professor and former secretary of the U.S. Air Force, at MIT on September 18 to discuss a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) that found that nearly half of women in majority-male STEM workplaces say sexual harassment is a problem.

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, released in June, recommended ways for institutions to change the pervasive climate and culture. President Johnson and Widnall co-chaired the committee that conducted the study. MIT President L. Rafael Reif opened the event, before a review of the findings, recommendations, and a Q&A with the panelists.

“If our national education and research system is to function effectively, let alone serve as a model of excellence, women must feel safe as they learn and work,” Johnson wrote in a Wellesley magazine column about the NASEM report this summer. “We must ensure that the next generation of women can aspire to careers in STEM without having to confront a culture that devalues, disrespects, or threatens them.”

Photo: President Paula A. Johnson speaks on a panel at MIT with Anita Hill, activist and Brandeis professor, and Sheila Widnall about a report by a committee co-chaired by Widnall and President Johnson.

Photo (inset): Anita Hill and President Johnson at the MIT discussion on September 18.