Sexual Harassment in Stem Research: Agencies Have Taken Actions, but Need Compliant Procedures, Overall Plans, and Better Collaboration
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
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Sexual harassment is degrading and illegal. Studies show it has a negative effect on the ability of women to engage in research at the same level as men. Title IX prohibits sexual harassment and other forms of sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding, and federal agencies are required to enforce the law at universities they fund. In fiscal year 2018, the most recent year for which data were available during GAOs review, U.S. universities were awarded about 27 billion in federal grants for STEM research. GAO was asked to review federal efforts to help prevent sexual harassment at universities that receive such grants. This report examines, among other things, 1 how selected federal agencies receive, investigate, and resolve Title IX complaints 2 the extent to which selected agencies have established an overall plan for their sexual harassment prevention efforts for university grantees, including for communicating and evaluating these efforts and 3 the extent to which selected agencies collaborate on efforts to prevent sexual harassment at universities they fund for STEM research. GAO reviewed agencies relevant regulations and documentation and interviewed agency officials.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Sociology and Law