From Margot Herster:
My story is too long to tell here, but you can read all about it in Herster vs. Louisiana State University. In sum my everyday sexism became such that it’s now a lawsuit going to trial this Feb 23. There is a standard of severity courts use dismiss hostile workplace and harassment cases, which especially hard to meet and go forward to trial in my region of the 5th Circuit court.
In 2009, I was hired by LSU into a joint position in the AVATAR visualization, digital arts and technology unit and the Digital Art department at LSU. The digital art & tech unit was 100% male professors, and LSU paid me 50%-75% less compared to the the male professors. I was also denied health insurance and retirement benefits that by policy accrued to my position, which the the university claiming I should get from my husband instead.
Diversity in the student population was similarly dismal, with few female students to be found. Gender demeaning and sexual harassment was pervasive.
I was fired immediately after whistle blowing and reporting discrimination complaint to the Department of Labor.
What I experienced and witnessed of the treatment of other women at LSU far exceeds anything I’ve seen in corporate workplaces. Gender bias and hostile climate for women in STEM & STEAM must be addressed in higher education. Universities should be leaders in this, taking strong stances that discrimination is wrong and actively design their recruiting and programming to promote and educate diversity and inclusion by gender and race in tech.