Gender is a Labor Issue

Defining Gender Equity

Our definition of gender equity goes beyond fairness of treatment for women – we believe women, men, queer, nonbinary, cis, and trans folks deserve equitable working conditions and opportunities. We strive for respect and fair treatment of graduate students regardless of their gender identity and sexuality.

Improving our workplace means not only securing adequate benefits and pay, but also ensuring equally healthy working conditions for graduate students, no matter our identity and background. We recognize that gender bias exists subtly while we work diligently on our teaching and research projects. We should not have to remain silent when experiencing inappropriate behavior within a professional setting for fear of isolation or retaliation. Join our work to foster and advocate for inclusive, real gender equity within TRU as a grad organization and across the university, where students should feel assuredly safe.

Some of the issues

Gender issues are labor relations issues. As TRU, we have been having conversations with our colleagues about working conditions since the fall of 2014. Graduate students have voiced many stories about gender-based discrimination at Johns Hopkins including:

  • Faculty members making sexist jokes or comments in courses
  • Biased grading in favor of male graduate students
  • Evaluations including sexist remarks from both undergrad students and faculty/staff mentors
  • Inappropriate images posted in office spaces
  • Higher attrition rates of women and people of color (POC) in certain departments
  • Lack of healthcare, including mental healthcare, and other services for trans students
  • Gender-exclusive restrooms across campus
  • Hostility towards graduate students who are parents or potential parents
  • Disproportionately high cost of childcare in comparison to what graduate student parents at our peer institutions pay
  • Differential treatment in childcare options in comparison with other Hopkins workers
  • Lack of clarity from the university on what resources exist for graduate student parents
  • Little to no transparency from the university about how concerns and/or filed claims of sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination (including Title IX) through the university are handled

Related Issues

For more information on other issues which affect gender equity on campus, check out our other issue pages, including our efforts regarding Resources for Grad Parents and Stopping Sexual Assault on Campus.

Is there an issue you would like TRU to know about? You can email us at or fill in the contact box below anonymously.