All the perpetrators were men and Dutch and the victims’ chiefs. One professor is said to have called the Chinese at the university “yellow ants”. Another authority “reminds us almost weekly that our promotion depends on his rating.” In the event of a difference of opinion, he will threaten a negative assessment.
And “there is a toxic masculinity here that excludes gays and homosexuals,” another interviewee says. Younger female employees, they said, had more work to do: “I often taught twice as often as my male colleagues.” Such extra work made earning a Ph.D. degree more difficult.
“I am completely frustrated. I am only doing my job because I need the money. But I expose myself here as little as possible,” says one of the victims. “Every time I go to an open day, I freak out. When I see these guys come in, ages 16, 17, 18, with their parents, I stand there all the time thinking, ‘Oh, man, if you knew what would happen to you.'”
The Groningen Youth Academy included a response from the University of Groningen Executive Board. This took note of the report “with sadness”. The company said a zero-tolerance policy and various mechanisms to prevent such behavior had been in place for years. “We deeply regret that, as the report shows, despite these efforts, employees interviewed continue to experience undesirable behaviour. We will continue to do everything we can to prevent this as much as possible. We have new initiatives in the field of anti-harassment and bullying.”
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