My Name is Jade

My name is not Jade

My Worst Moment: The postdoc who was supervising my work sexually harassed me (verbal harassment as well as unwanted contacts) since the start of my PhD. When I felt strong enough to finally speak up after two and a half years, I realised that my group leader, who is a woman, as well as the whole directorate of my institute just tried to sweep my complaint under the rug. My group leader blamed me for what had happened saying it can’t be that bad if it took me more than two years to complain and that I am a pretty woman, so it should be expected. I felt betrayed and insulted, but did not lose hope because I was getting support from other victims of this postdoc. I officially complained and got three other victims to testify. This postdoc was not fired and did not get any warnings but they gave him the option to resign. He has since left the institute.


Sadly, my fight is not over as it has now been four months since I complained and am now struggling to get back to work in peaceful conditions and finish my PhD thesis. It is extremely compromised because my group leader is morally harassing me, blaming me for what has happened to this postdoc and holding me responsible for the tension within her group (most of my colleagues knew what was going on and no one supported the other victims and me). I am currently holding on but I am unsure it will work out.

I Have Given Up On: The reasons why I started this PhD, I have given up on loving science. I lost all motivation to pursue a career in academia, as I won’t ever trust academics again.

I’m Afraid: That I won’t have the strength to fight to finish my PhD. And that I will never get justice. I am also afraid that this happens to others and that it remains unpunished.

This has cost me: My self-confidence especially regarding my professional skills.

Something You Should Know About Me: I am strong and this will not stop me. I know where I am going and I a

m somehow convinced that these people will eventually pay for what they did.

Is There a Bright Side: I am extremely grateful and feel very lucky that I have such an amazing family and such caring friends who stand with me in this fight. My boyfriend has played an essential role, he was the one who opened my eyes and fully supported me, I owe him a lot. I would have not been able to fight without them. I realize that none of what happened was my fault. I will always call out unacceptable behaviours and more than anything, I want to stand up for others.

My Fight Song:

Secret Weapon: Laughing about pretty much anything and kickboxing class!