MeTooSTEM was founded in 2018 by Dr. BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist who, like most women in science, experienced years of retaliation, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination. Unlike most women at the time, she spoke out about her experiences protecting students, navigating Title IX and losing faith in leaders and institutions. She blogged, protested, spoke and eventually garnering the national spotlight in 2018 when she was awarded the MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award. Funded by LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, the award is given to recipients who ”engage in ethical, nonviolent, disobedience aimed at challenging norms, rules, or laws that sustain society’s injustice”.
Unwilling to simply listen and pledge to do better for future generations, McLaughlin was compelled to provide meaningful help, informed counsel and change that improves the lives of survivors and whistleblowers.
What began as a website where survivors could speak their truth sharing stories of sexual misconduct, gaslighting and isolation has evolved into an advocacy network that provides legal, safety, professional, health and community support.
According to a recent National Academy of Sciences report, women in the fields of STEM are subjected to sexual harassment and misconduct more than any occupation outside the US military and Catholic Church. Women of color, non-binary individuals, LGBTQ+ women, women with visas in the US and women of religious and ethnic minority groups are especially vulnerable, and experience higher rates of sexual and professional misconduct.
MeTooSTEM focuses on holding individuals and institutions accountable for removing those who have committed sexual assault and misconduct from leadership, teaching, and positions of influence, as well as reporting sexual misconduct to funding agencies and foundations.
Safety is a priority for MeTooSTEM, as is a relentless dedication to restoring the lives of victims of sexual misconduct by attending to their emotional, physical health and financial well-being.
We believe institutions, the STEM community, and individuals will benefit from truth, transparency, and a community of restorative justice.
MeTooSTEM operates as a part of the larger Academic Decency League as a 501(3)(c) nonprofit whose day-to-day operations are run by early-career individuals comprising a Leadership Team. Business, legal, science and policy leaders oversee the organization as our Board of Directors. Both groups seek to evolve a safety-first, survivor-centered organization with the goal of ending sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines.