The ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network convened scholars from multiple disciplines for a 2-day workshop to prioritize under-studied research questions within the general theme of Identity-based Harassment. The Research Advisory Board of the ARC Network, a National Science Foundation-funded program hosted by the Association for Women in Science, identified this theme as a primary area in need of further research exploration in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workplaces.
Identity-based harassment refers to denigrating behavior targeting individuals on aspects of identity including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, citizenship, socio-economic status, disability, and other social demographic categories. It can range from verbal slights or exclusionary behavior to full-out assault and physical violence. Identity-based harassment undermines the individual, and those belonging to more than one marginalized group can suffer in non-additive ways. Such harassment also shapes STEM workplace cultures in complicated ways, influencing productivity, sense of belonging, employee well-being, retention, field-level commitment, and more.
Members of the workshop planning committee nominated scholars working in this area who represent a diverse array of disciplines, research specialties, institution types, career stages, and social demographic backgrounds. Twenty-three scholars were convened in July 2019 and participated in a series of facilitator-led discussions designed to culminate in a research agenda of under-studied questions that will advance understanding of identity-based harassment.