Growing up in a generation where women were "to be seen and not heard," Dr. Gloria Harris has devoted over a quarter of a century as a trailblazer for teaching, inspiring, and defending women both locally and nationally.
After earning her doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Washington in the early seventies, Dr. Harris recognized the relevance to the women's movement of assertive behavior therapy. In 1975 she and co-author Susan M. Osborn M.S.W. published the first book on the subject: Assertive Training for Women. From 1975-1980, Dr. Harris taught Assertive Training for Women workshops based on her book in over seventy-five federal agencies throughout the United States. Her work was so groundbreaking that the New York Times, Washington Post, and the San Francisco Examiner featured articles about her workshops. In May 1977, People Magazine recognized her work in a five page article titled, "Psychologist Tells Women How to Speak Up."
Her experience coaching and training women in the workplace led to a related interest in another women's issue: sexual harassment. Before the subject attracted national recognition, Dr. Harris began discussing the issue with local organizations including the San Diego Psychology-Law Society and the National Organization of Women, San Diego chapter. As a result, following the Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation hearings in 1991, Dr Harris was invited to appear on Marty Levine's local television program, "Third Thursday."
Once identified as an expert on the topic of sexual harassment, Dr Harris began a new chapter in her life. Under the sponsorship of the San Diego Commission on the Status of Women, Dr. Harris developed an interdisciplinary sexual harassment task force to study the issue and in 1999 she was elected chair of the commission.
Now maintaining a private clinical practice in San Diego, Dr. Harris frequently serves as an expert witness in sex discrimination and sexual harassment cases. Several of the cases in which she has testified have resulted in million dollar awards for women victimized by unlawful sexual misconduct.