Past sexual harassment revealed

A RENOWNED social science researcher has revealed that she was sexually harassed and intimidated during the early years of her career.

Dr Yvonne Hartman is a respected social science lecturer and researcher at Lismore’s Southern Cross University.

She is also the chair of the Richmond Health Participation Forum.

But when she was about to accept a job at a public institution – which she did not name – she was quizzed about her desire to have children.

“I remember being asked if I had intentions of starting a family,” Dr Hartman told a group of 240 women at an International Women’s Day lunch in Ballina this week.

“And although I didn’t have any intentions at the time, part of me resented having to make that statement.

“I also experienced sexual harassment from a senior manager.

“He would do things like purposefully drop a piece of paper under my desk and then have to retrieve it.

“I felt very uncomfortable.

“A lot of women in my generation would have gone through something like that.

“But I was told not to take it any further by my immediate boss who was, of course, a male.

“It just illustrates what women have had to go through.

“But it also shows how much things have changed.

“Attitudes have changed radically.

“However you still have to be pretty brave to stand up if you’re being harassed.

“It’s still daunting.”



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