Climate Survey

In recent years, many science organizations have undertaken "climate surveys" to better understand the experiences of their members. These surveys are meant to be used as a first step in improving equity and an atmosphere of inclusivity within the culture and/or organization. CASCA has decided to conduct this survey, which has been sent to all current members of CASCA. While our members may have had very different experiences within their science careers, and we appreciate that sharing some of the information requested may be difficult for some, everyone’s participation in the survey is important, whether they have negative or positive experiences to report. The higher the number of CASCA members who contribute, the better the emerging picture will be about our community’s experiences and the environment it offers to incoming and present members. We however understand that individuals may wish to opt out of the entire survey or opt out of certain questions. Both are options in completing the survey.

Because the goal of the survey is to assess the current climate in our community within CASCA, we ask that you keep in mind events occurring in the past 5 years when filling out the survey. If you wish to include information about events that date back further, there will be an option to include any additional comments or responses at the end of the survey.

We are using the Canadian survey site (infopoll.com) to conduct the survey. All individual data will be anonymous, and those who will have access to the individual data have signed confidentiality agreements. Aggregate data will be reported in a report to the community, but individual responses will not be circulated or reported in any forum. In addition, aggregate data will be pooled to avoid small number statistics that might allow the identification of any individual respondent or group.
 

Basic information:

1.1.  Academic level/position
 
 
1.2.  Year of your PhD (if applicable)
 

 
1.3.  Gender/Identity: multiple potential responses (click all that apply)
 
 
1.4.  Region of the country in which you currently work/study (or in which you worked/studied in the past 5 years) if you have recently moved: check all that apply
 
 

Terms of Importance

Definition of equity:

Equity is the principle of fairness and impartiality toward all. Equity implies giving as much advantage, consideration or latitude to one party as is given to another.

Definition of harassment:

Harassment is conduct that includes, but is not limited to the following: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group. In the case of academia, persons in authority must again be cautious about using intimidating or aggressive behaviour since those they supervise are dependent on them into the future for job prospects and be reluctant to confront harassers. Harassment is different than bullying in that harassment is a form of discrimination.

Definition of sexual harassment:

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. More specifically, sexual harassment is words or actions that are: unwanted; directed at you; based on your sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, and harmful or damaging in some way. Sexual harassers either know or ought to know their behaviour is unwelcome because it would be judged to be so by any reasonable person. Individuals must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behaviour.

Survey Questions:

2.1.  Do you hear the following language from your PEERS?
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
Negative comments about religion or lack thereof
Negative remarks about mental ability (e.g., aptitude for doing science)
Negative remarks about mental disability (e.g., an illness, condition)
Negative remarks about physical disability
Negative remarks about transgendered individuals
Negative remarks about gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals
Sexist remarks
Racist remarks
 
2.2.  Do you hear the following language from your SUPERVISOR?
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
Negative comments about religion or lack thereof
Negative remarks about mental ability (e.g., aptitude for doing science)
Negative remarks about mental disability (e.g., an illness, condition)
Negative remarks about physical disability
Negative remarks about transgendered individuals
Negative remarks about gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals
Sexist remarks
Racist remarks
 
2.3.  Have you been harassed because of the following characteristics? Comments or actions based on bigotry may fall into more than one category (e.g., Islamophobic remarks may be both based on religion and race).
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
religion or lack thereof
gender
gender identity
sexual orientation
mental disability status
physical disability status
race
ethnicity
 
2.4.  Have you witnessed others being harassed because of the following characteristics? Comments or actions based on bigotry may fall into more than one category (e.g., Islamophobic remarks may be both based on religion and race).
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
religion or lack thereof
gender
gender identity
sexual orientation
mental disability status
physical disability status
race
ethnicity
 
2.5.  Have you felt discomforted because of comments/jokes/postings/literature of the following nature?
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
religion or lack thereof
gender
gender identity
sexual orientation
mental disability status
physical disability status
race
ethnicity
 
2.6.  During your academic studies or employment in jobs related to astronomy, where have you experienced harassment (in any form)?
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
in a classroom
in a shared office
in a supervisor's/instructor's office
in a colleague's office
at a conference
at a telescope/observatory
other
 
2.7.  During your academic studies or employment in jobs related to astronomy, where have you experienced sexual harassment (in any form)?
 
 NeverRarelySometimesOftenPrefer not to answer
in a classroom
in a shared office
in a supervisor's/instructor's office
in a colleague's office
at a conference
at a telescope/observatory
other
 
2.8.  What was the nature of the most serious incident(s) of this unwanted attention/harassment/discomfort discussed in Question 2.6 or 2.7? (Choose all that apply.)
 
 
2.9.  Did you know how to report these incidents at your place of work/study?.
 
 
2.10.  Did you report these occurrences?
 
 
2.11.  Were you satisfied with the outcome of reporting the incident(s)?
 
 
2.12.  In the most serious incident above, the person(s) responsible was (were): (Choose all that apply.)
 
 
2.13.  In the context of Question 2.6 and 2.7, have you felt unsafe (either at your workplace or in other work-related venues) in your current employment/institute/department?
 
 
2.14.  In the context of Question 2.6 and 2.7, have you ever skipped classes/meetings/conferences/field work opportunities etc., because of you felt unsafe in your current employment/institute/department or the travel it entails?
 
 
2.15.  Please indicate the degree to which you agree with the following statements using the following scale:
 
 Strongly agreeAgreeNeither agree nor disagreeDisagreeStrongly disagreeI don’t knowPrefer not to answer
I feel that the astronomical community climate is healthy with respect to equity within my own workplace environment.
I feel that the astronomical community climate is healthy with respect to equity within the environment of CASCA meetings.
I feel that the climate is healthy with respect to gender issues within my workplace.
I feel that the climate is healthy with respect to gendered issues within my workplace.
I feel that the climate is healthy with respect to gender/gendered issues within CASCA.
I understand how to report incidents of equity infringement at my place of work.
I understand how to report sexual harassment at my place of work.
I understand how to report harassment at my place of work.
I understand how to report violence at my place of work.
I understand how to report incidents of equity infringement at CASCA meetings or CASCA sanctioned events.
I understand how to report incidents of sexual harassment at CASCA meetings or CASCA sanctioned events.
I understand how to report incidents of harassment at CASCA meetings or CASCA sanctioned events.
I understand how to report violence at CASCA meetings or CASCA sanctioned events.
 
2.16.  Do you think CASCA should be doing more, less or the same in terms of equity, inclusion, education and prevention of harassment/sexual harassment?
 
 
2.17.  What is the ONE action you would like leadership at your institution and/or the leadership of CASCA to take on the issue of equity in your workplace/the community?
 
 

Australia and the UK have created programs to promote equity and diversity and encourage the retention of women (in particular) in their science workforce. The Australian program is called SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity) and the UK program is called Athena SWAN (begun in 2005). These programs provide awards to institutions which commit to and can demonstrate progress on equality and diversity, in gender, and for some awards, race as well.

The sites for these programs can be seen here:
http://www.sciencegenderequity.org.au
http://www.ecu.ac.uk/equality-charters/athena-swan/


Australia also has a program called Pleiades, which recognizes organizations that take active steps to advance the careers of women through focussed programs.
https://asa-idea.org/the-pleiades-awards/

3.1.  Should CASCA endorse and work toward an acceditation scheme like that of Athena SWAN or SAGE?
 
 
3.2.  Should CASCA implement a version of the Pleiades awards, recognizing strong performers in equity and diversity within Canadian astronomy?
 
 
3.3.  Please include here any additional comments you wish to make.
 
 
Thank you very much for your participation in this survey. If you wish to follow up with CASCA regarding this survey, please feel free to contact members of your institution, CASCA or the CASCA Equity and Inclusivity Committee. Members of the CASCA Board and CASCA EIC are listed at casca.ca, and their contact information is available through the casca.ca membership lists. Anyone needing support after executing this survey should seek out assistance from their local Employee & Family Assistance Program.