March 2021

Meet Peggy Stockdale

Dr. Peggy Stockdale is a Professor of Psychology at IUPUI. She has published her research in journals and books on sexual harassment, sex discrimination, mentoring, women in STEM, work-life balance, and public health initiatives.  She has also served as an expert witness for both plaintiffs and defendants in sex discrimination cases.

Dr. Stockdale teaches courses on workplace diversity, gender issues in the workplace, industrial-organizational psychology, capstone laboratory in Psychology, social-science research methods. 

Dr. Stockdale is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. 

Fundamentally, I want to address and eliminate sexism in how women and men are treated in the workplace, schools, and other places. I want people to be treated with dignity and respect.

Dr. Peggy Stockdale

Q and A with Dr. Stockdale

I’ve been interested in gender issues since I was a child and actually did a gender-based science fair project in high school. When I started graduate school in the mid-90s, my advisor was conducting research on men’s misperceptions of women’s friendly behavior, which he thought may explain some of the less serious forms of harassment. Then, when I started my first faculty position in 1990, the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas controversy erupted and I felt that sex harassment was something that I could make a meaningful impact on through my research.

Fundamentally, I want to address and eliminate sexism in how women and men are treated in the workplace, schools, and other places.  I want people to be treated with dignity and respect.

I have helped organizations develop or improve their policies on sexual harassment, and I have been a trainer and investigator. In serving as an expert witness, I hope that my research informs organizations about best practices to fix the conditions that tend to give rise to harassing conduct as well as to help them develop strong procedures for managing sexual harassment investigations.

I love the process of inquiry that has real-world impact. My research on sexual harassment has provided opportunities to address many interesting questions that hopefully improve our understanding of sexual harassment and other forms of sexism or discrimination so that we can build effective tools and processes to address them.

  1. Up until recently, I was a department chair, so I had many administrative duties. I am still engaged with university service particularly in areas related to my expertise. Currently, I am a co-PI and part of the leadership team for an NSF-funded project that aims to promote the advancement of female faculty in STEM disciplines by improving the climate for equity and belongingness in the departments and schools in which they work. I am also part of a system-wide task force to address the widening disparities in women’s and men’s research careers brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  1. I am a mother of 3 grown children who always bring me delight (and a few challenges from time to time). 

  1. Since the pandemic began, I started a “pandemic streak” in which I have taken one or more streaming exercises classes in my home every day. I think I’m on day 300 or so. 

I have an active research lab called “Women and Work (WoW)" lab in which I have several graduate students and a few undergraduate students engaged. Almost all my research projects involve students. Several of the graduate students in my lab are leading projects, so they learn how to formulate research questions, review the relevant research, develop hypotheses, and then develop the methods for data collection and analysis. Furthermore, they present the results of our research at national conferences, and they co-author manuscripts on our research findings.

I have worked with organizations, including private businesses and public municipalities to give workshops on sexual harassment and related topics. I have served on boards of not-for-profit agencies focused on women’s advancement in the workplace, such as the Integrating Women Leaders Foundation. I have conducted in-depth case studies of organizations addressing their processes, policies, and other actions to create work environments where women can thrive.

I continue to conduct research on sex harassment and examine the effects of different forms of power on proclivities to sexually harass. I hope to develop and evaluate training programs that will disrupt these effects. Research in my lab continues to study many different issues related to harassment.

 Conversation with Dr. Peggy Stockdale

On Friday, March 26, 2021 from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. Dr. Stockdale gave a virtual presentation about her work on When "good people" harass. Why they do it and why we let them.