The last few years have seen more attention to issues of safety during graduate school, during field work, and at professional conferences. Ento-Allies commit to creating safe spaces at entomological meetings, important places where careers are begun and collaborators meet.
Discrimination or harassment for any reason is not OK.
The ESA has taken an excellent first step by having a clear harassment policy defining behaviors that are not acceptable at a professional conference. We believe that most people want to do the right thing and treat their colleagues with respect.
But we also think that having visible allies at the meeting helps remind attendees that groping and harassing isn’t OK; and racist or homophobic language and behavior is unacceptable. We want people to be thoughtful about what they say or do, so our professional meetings are welcoming to all.
If someone does do something inappropriate, we exist to help and support the recipient of unwelcome behavior. Ento-Allies will talk to you, and give you advice — but any decisions about filing formal reports are entirely yours as a participant.
Our primary duty is listening and maintaining confidentiality of your information.
We Are Not Affiliated With the ESA
Ento-Allies is completely separate from the Entomological Society of America, The Entomological Foundation, or any other entomological organization.
Is this really necessary?
A steady stream of data documenting what women, LGBT folks, and other under-represented groups experience in science has been building for the last 20 years. It’s not pretty. I’ll just list a few recent news items and publications here:
- Harassment during field Research is targeted at trainees
- Entomology Faculty member center of harassment lawsuit
- My PhD Advisor Raped Me, and I Didn’t Report it.
- Race and Gender Bias by Major Advisors
- Sexual Assault Rates at 27 Colleges
- University of Oregon Sexual Violence Survey 2015
- AAAS retracts column advising women to let advisors look at their boobs
- BYU Punishes LGBT students that report their rapes, not their rapists
- Astronomer resigns after harassing women for decades
- It matters when Professional Societies are silent on race
Thanks to our Astronomy Fore-Mothers
We are closely modeled on the successful Astronomy Allies program:
“The Astronomy Allies Program consists of volunteers who act to form a “safe-zone” at AAS meetings. An Astronomy Ally can act as a buffer, bystander, or advocate. As a meeting participant, you can contact an Ally if you need help. Allies can provide confidential advice, support, information, and resources. They can serve as a liaison between you and the AAS administration. They can help create an environment where the perpetrators of harassment feel they “can’t get away” with their unprofessional and disturbing behavior. As knowledge of the Allies Program grows, their very existence may help prevent future problems before they start.