MassBio® Releases Anti-Harassment Policy for Events

Aug 15, 2018

Policy supports MassBio’s commitment to diversity & inclusion; ensures everyone feels welcome to participate and attend industry events

August 15, 2018 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) today announced a new anti-harassment policy, which applies to all MassBio events as well as any events that are hosted at MassBio’s facilities, effective immediately. The policy supports MassBio’s commitment to diversity & inclusion and is an effort to ensure everyone feels welcome to participate and attend events in the life sciences industry.

“This policy is not just about sexual harassment. It’s about the myriad forms it can take that impact a person’s ability to feel welcome and included,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO, and Edie M. Stringfellow, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, MassBio, in a recent blog post. “Together with our conference diversity policy, we believe the new Anti-Harassment policy will make our events more inclusive, more diverse, and plain old better for everyone involved.”

 As the policy states, harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Discrimination or unfair treatment based on gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, age or religion
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or advances; unwelcomed discussion of sexual orientation / gender identity
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Comments that are lewd, lascivious, demeaning or derogatory
  • Sexual images; or sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes designed to create a sexualized environment
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, MassBio retains the right to take actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants.

MassBio encourages every organization to consider adopting this policy or a similar one as their own.

To learn more about MassBio’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, visit:

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About MassBio

MassBio is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 that represents and provides services and support for the Massachusetts life sciences industry. MassBio is committed to advancing Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Representing more than 1000+ biotechnology companies, academic institutions, research hospitals, and service organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare, MassBio works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services.

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