On the Need to Comment on the Revised Title IX Rules Issued by the Department of Education

Ensuring Title IX is implemented to the full extent of the law and protects victims is critical for women in engineering.
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Earlier today, the United States Department of Education (ED) under the Trump Administration released proposed rules for the implementation of Title IX. (You can read a summary of the proposed rules here.) Title IX places a ban on any discrimination based on sex for any federally funded school (including universities and K-12 schools). Protections under Title IX extend to individuals who experience both sexual assault and discrimination.

These proposed rules are meant to alter or replace many of the guidelines previously issued by ED under the Obama Administration.

The proposed rules are in draft form and will be available for public comment for 60 days. Upon review of public feedback, a final version of the revised rules will be implemented. To sign-up to be alerted for when comments will be accepted, text “SWE Public Policy” to 56512 and we will notify you when the comment period opens.

SWE is a long-time advocate for the full and legal implementation of Title IX and works to ensure that women, and those underrepresented in STEM, have equal access to protections under the law. SWE will thoroughly review the proposed rules and provide feedback prior to the deadline. We will publish our comments at the time of submission.

A significant percentage of women within engineering schools experience discrimination and/or some form of sexual harassment. At SWE’s recent WE18 State of Women in Engineering panel we highlighted a recent report that over half of all women in engineering schools experience sexual harassment; furthermore, the AP Press highlighted this aspect of our presentation. (While this report covers discrimination at higher education institutions, discrimination throughout K-12 institutions is also widespread and can come in the form of students being discouraged from pursuing certain classes or areas of study based on gender.)

Adequate protections under Title IX are critical to the persistence and ultimate success of and girls in the university and K-12 schools. Without a diverse talent pipeline that is inclusive of women (who are a majority of college graduates), the United States economy will continue to experience a shortage of engineering talent. Given the high amounts of discrimination faced by women in engineering, it is imperative that Title IX protections, and the guidelines and rules that enforce them, do not place unnecessarily high barriers for victims to pursue justice under the law.

Want to understand the impact of Title IX better? Check out some of these SWE Title IX Resources: