Professor panel to present on sexual harassment in the workplace

Markee Pioneer Student Center on UW-Platteville campus

University of Wisconsin-Platteville professors Mary Bartling and Marge Karsten from the School of Business were inspired by the #MeToo movement to dig deeper into the issue of harassment in the workplace. They will host a panel, open to the public, on this topic on Wednesday, March 27 at 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the University Rooms of the Markee Pioneer Student Center.

Bartling is a business professor who began her career at UW-Platteville after spending time working with Harley-Davidson. She specializes her academics in supply chain management. Karsten is a professor of human resource management and the internship coordinator in the School of Business. She has developed a course titled Management, Gender and Race that is cross-listed with ethnic studies and women’s and gender studies, which she now teaches through UW-Platteville’s Center for Distance Learning.

“I hope the audience will gain a better understanding of the causes of sexual harassment, including the role played by the informal organizational culture,” Karsten said. “I also hope they take away the reasons for why guidelines and trainings that have been in place for decades have failed to prevent workplace sexual harassment.”

After they designed a survey to determine if workplace sexual harassment increases the longer an employee has been in the workforce, the results of which will be presented at a conference in April, and reviewing current literature, Bartling and Karsten decided to create a panel with professors from the School of Business and Department of Social Sciences to talk with the campus community. Bartling and Karsten will bring in speakers from outside of the School of Business to represent varying perspectives on the topic.

“I have had a longstanding interest in these topics since shortly after beginning my career at UW-Platteville,” Karsten said. “With the encouragement from my academic dean and the director of women’s studies at the time, I developed a campus course that evolved to become Management, Gender and Race. I have also edited and published four books on related topics.”

Panelists will include Dr. Rosalyn Broussard from the political science department at UW-Platteville, Dr. Will LeSuer from the criminal justice department at UW-Platteville and Dr. Ellen Bartling, the National Director of Content and Operations for the Character Formation Project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The panelists will discuss their perceptions of the long-term impact of the #MeToo Movement.

The event is open to students, faculty, staff and community members who are interested in gaining a better understanding of workplace harassment, both the problems of it and what can be done to prevent it. Karsten said she hopes panelists will discuss new approaches to stop sexual harassment in the workplace so that colleges do not have to host similar panels in 2050.