The National Park Service has both a sexual harassment and a discrimination problem.
A recent internal study reveals that within the past year more than one in six female employees have experienced sexual harassment, and one in three women have experienced some form of gender-based harassment.
The findings come amid reports of sexual harassment and assault allegations involving Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Women around the world are detailing their own experiences on social media using the hashtag #MeToo.
At the National Park Service, the discrimination goes beyond just women. Nearly 40 percent of employees have reported experiencing harassment or assault based on gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. One in 5 employees of color said that they had been harassed based on their racial or ethnic background. Only 35 percent of employees who registered a complaint knew that the person who they told took action.
“The days of watching things, not saying anything, and not taking action are over,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told National Park Service employees in an address last Friday. He added that he has removed several Park Service employees due to improper behavior.
Diversity might lay at the heart of the Park Service’s issues: of its 22,000 employees, less than 40 percent are women and fewer than 20 percent are people of color.