Berkeley Lab

Sexual Harassment of Women Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—National Academies of Sciences

Read the Report:

Sexual Harassment of Women Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018)

What is the report about?

  • For a quick summary, view the National Academies of Sciences report clips: (Clip 1 , Clip 2 ). The report and the recommendations underscore the NASEM’s palpable commitment to change.

How can I help improve our climate and culture at LBNL?

  • Hone your emotional intelligence and inclusive communication skills: REGISTER for an upcoming workshop: “We live in a world today where emotionally charged events are impacting the workplace and the public as a whole on a daily basis. Conflict and negativity in anyone’s life decreases the chances of being a top performer, personally and/or professionally.”– D.B. Bedford Seminars
  • Cultivate your curiosity for improved work-community engagement: Refresh your View through the the STEVE ROBBINS VIDEO SERIES
  • Increase your awareness of bias and barriers: Additional RESOURCES.

In light of the report recommendations, what actions is LBNL taking to help improve our workplace climate and culture?

LBNL Leaders and DEI groups are encouraged by the scientifically based guidance offered in this report. Current and ongoing LBNL initiatives relating to the report’s recommendations are listed above and below. Other efforts will be continuously developed in partnership with our full LBNL community on an ongoing basis. In addition to the current events and resources listed above, the following links and resources share LBNL efforts throughout the remainder of this post.

Move beyond legal compliance to address culture and climate with a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment.

Our ongoing community engagement opportunities and cultural trainings are being rolled out lab-wide.

  • One example is the recent edition of the Director’s Distinguished Speaker Series, a twice annual event where a Woman in Science is celebrated. Look for announcements for the next speaker in the series later this year.
  • To strengthen our workplace culture and provide leadership tools and practice to listen with depth, LBNL has contracted with the Luna Jimenez Institute Transformational Approach to Change. This workshop offers participants an immersive 3-day experience where each individual is invited to explore their response to cultural stimuli and provided real-world skill set to listen with others in a meaningful, authentic, generous and deep manner. Through introspective awareness, coupled with highly attuned listening skills–everyday workplace interactions have the potential to be positively transformed.

Address the most common form of sexual harassment: gender harassment

  • During the first quarter of 2018, the Human Resources, LBNL Division Partners and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have partnered to conduct a pilot program based on best practices for effective Harassment Prevention Training. Impact and results of the pilot effort are currently being evaluated.
  • In response to the #MeToo movement of last Fall, the Senior Human Resource Partners from across LBNL convened to shape a bystander intervention training. Core content was sourced from the most current scientific studies on the topic, and proven best practices as published by our partners at the Stanford University Clayman Institute for Gender Research. This training is currently being administered and evaluated in the pilot phase for consideration of wider LBNL enrollment.

Provide support for those impacted

  • Connect with Title IX: The Title IX office is available to all LBNL staff to field questions, coordinate training for groups and to investigate concerns. Please contact our Title IX officer Leticia Ericson at or 510-486-7635 for support.
  • Responsible Reporting: LBNL takes all reports of workplace concerns very seriously. If you are aware of a sexual harassment or sexual violence concern, please report it immediately. Contacting the Title IX office directly (see previous bullet) or if you wish to remain anonymous, you may submit facts to our whistleblower ethics line Whistleblower Hotline.
  • Obtain Individual Confidential Support: Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps employees and their family members find solutions to personal and work-related challenges through counseling, consultation, assessment, and referrals.  EAP services are voluntary, strictly confidential, and free of charge.

Strive for strong and diverse leadership

  • We have a newly defined Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Accountability Model. This collaboration of stakeholder representatives from all areas of the lab is committed to shaping the vision and reality of our Lab community now and in the future through organized action. To see how you can get involved in one of the work groups, please contact

Improve transparency and accountability. Measure progress. Incentivize change.

  • This grouping of recommendation is under review. Our current Annual Performance Management Review Form includes section 6.a the Diversity and Inclusion section. The report recommendation encourages further definition, structure and guidance on how to evaluate, track, and reward DEI impact.

Encourage involvement of professional societies and other organizations

The Laboratory supports a broad program of recreational, cultural, and educational activities. Here is a sample:

Address the failures to meaningfully enforce Title VII [and Title IX] prohibition on sex discrimination at workplaces and on campuses

  • Procedures are in place for University of California Title IX Systemwide review, recommendations and ongoing training of best enforcement practices, as well as continuous improvement of policies and processes across our systemwide work and education communities.

Make the entire academic [STEM/Operations] community responsible for reducing and preventing sexual harassment

  • All of the above sections and more to come…

Additional important recommendations under review include:

Diffuse the hierarchical and dependent relationship between trainees and faculty. Initiate legislative action. Federal Agencies: Increase agency action and collaboration. Funders: Support necessary research.


  1. Note that this is not the final version of the report. It is an uncorrected “prepublication copy.” The final, corrected version will be released in August, according to the National Academies Press website, .