Sexual harassment and abuse are out of control at universities

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Current policies and programs have failed overwhelmingly to address and prevent the problem of sexual harassment and abuse on college campuses across North America. A recent comprehensive report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine outlines just how serious this problem, especially amongst women continues to plague academia.

Paula Johnson, the president of Wellesley College and a co-chairwoman of the committee that produced the report, affirms that,“we really have to move beyond a mind-set of legal compliance and liability and think about the ways we can change the climate.”

This New York Times article articulates the situation in most organizations. It nails what needs to be done, namely to achieve a cultural change to make harassment and abuse of any kind unacceptable on any college campus. This is something I have been advocating for years. These issues are in no way limited to the world of academics. They are pervasive throughout most organizations. Most of the programs that have been trotted out to try to address these issues are woefully inadequate and aimed at protecting the organizations and not the people affected. We are witnessing companies doubling down on policies, yet these policies are only in place to provide a legal shield or limit liabilities. It’s time for organizations to the right thing for their employees.