ASA Convenes Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Assault

In November 2017, the ASA Board of Directors approved the formation of a Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Assault.

The Task Force is charged with assessing the extent of sexual harassment in the ASA community and providing recommendations to the Board regarding policies and procedures to ensure the conduct policy is effective. The members of the task force have been appointed and, under the leadership of the chair, Leslie McClure, are beginning their work.

"The ASA has a long history of defining and supporting ethical practices in the statistical community,” noted ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein. “I am taking the formation of this task force as an opportunity to reiterate the unacceptability of any form of harassment or bullying by any members of our community and to develop mechanisms to support our members who have suffered from these inappropriate behaviors. These are not behaviors that will be tolerated and are considered an unmitigated detriment to the advancement of scientific progress. Our conduct policy, which has been in place for several years, is clear about this."

Wasserstein also said acceptance of this policy is required to complete registration to all ASA-managed meetings.

“Nonetheless, we know there is more that needs to be done to ensure ASA activities are welcoming to all participants,” Wasserstein said.

The task force is expected to report to the Board in July.