The initiative fulfils a commitment after our Breaking the Barriers and Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ physical scientists reports revealed problems with bullying, with accounts of intimidation and victimisation either holding back scientists’ careers or forcing them to change jobs.
Further recent evidence that the problem persists across science came from the Wellcome Trust, whose investigation found nearly two-thirds of researchers (61%) have witnessed bullying or harassment, and 43% have experienced it themselves.
Our goal is to make the chemical sciences – which remains a rewarding and worthwhile area to work in – an even better place to be. Our support line is only tackling the symptom of bullying and harassment, not the cause. Culture change will take a joined-up effort from across our whole community.
Please look out for your friends and colleagues – especially given the additional pressures and isolation that may come as a result of COVID-19 – and if you are in any way affected by bullying or harassment either directly, as a bystander, or as the person accused – give us a call.