Initiatives to encourage more women in STEM-related industries have had mixed results. Adding more women to longstanding male-dominated STEM occupations has highlighted issues in workplace culture that are hostile to women. In this case, the CEO of an engineers’ professional association, NSE, is accused of making a sexually suggestive remark to two female engineers at the annual convention. One of the women, Claire, lodged a complaint with the board. After reviewing the investigation report, the board voted to ask the CEO to quietly apologize to both women. Claire, in the meantime, posted a negative review of the NSE’s handling of her complaint which is getting considerable media attention. The purpose of this case is for students to examine the competing interests NSE faces in promoting the safety of female members, protecting its reputation for advancing the profession and women in engineering and supporting an otherwise “brilliant CEO”.
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