Even NASA wakes up to sexual harassment


Current and new members of NASA will have to undergo anti-harassment training by the end of 2018.

Sexual harassment cases are spreading like cancer. May be it was always there, but under wraps! Now, after the #MeToo campaign, organisations across the world seem to have suddenly woken up to reality and are framing new policies on sexual harassment.

This trend has not left even high-profile organisations, such as NASA, untouched. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US, has launched a new campaign for its employees making it clear that the space agency will not tolerate any kind of harassment.

Robert Lightfoot, acting NASA administrator, said, “Harassment, including sexual harassment, has no place here at NASA and will not be tolerated. It’s not consistent with our values, our employee engagement, and our high-performance culture. It’s wrong and it’s not acceptable.”

There has been an increasing number of reported cases at this institution, post the #MeToo campaign. In fact, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology requested that the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate anti-harassment practices at science-based federal agencies.

According to Lightfoot, all complaints on sexual harassment will be treated appropriately, with a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation. He also assured that the identity of individuals reporting harassment will be kept confidential.

He also urged all NASA members to be “vigilant and immediately report any inappropriate conduct” , to help prevent and stop workplace harassment.

As per the new policy, all current and new members of NASA will have to undergo anti-harassment training by the end of 2018. Besides, NASA will also partner with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to learn about current developments in anti-harassment. “We need to provide a safe workplace so that our workforce is effective,” Lightfoot said.

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