Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pink Butterflies

A colleague of mine just attended a welcome reception for new faculty at his university, and everyone was given an informational packet about resources and programs at the university. One colorful brochure had lots of pink on it, and pictures of butterflies, flowers, and babies. The brochure didn't have a lot of content to it, but my colleague thinks it was intended to make the point that the university cares about hiring women. He looked around the room and didn't see many women, even though the reception included the humanities as well as the sciences. He says he feared that the brochure was intended to prove that the university was aware that it had a problem, in place of real action. In our field, this university has no women faculty, and has never had any. The grad student/postdoc population, however, is 50% women, as it has been for a while.

4 comments:

aurea said...

Butterflies, flowers, babies and pink? Talk about stereotypes, and bad ones, at that!

Ms.PhD said...

Yick. And the numbers exactly match what the NAS report said.

Pam said...

Ooohh, pink brochures, that would make me feel better...yeah, talk about stereotypes! Our incoming graduate student class this year (approx. 40 of them) is 82% women. Comparatively, the number of female faculty is abysmmal. I was talking with the grad students in my lab yesterday about this - and we were wondering what was going to happen when the only (or majority of) applicants for academic positions are women! Hopefully there won't be pink butterflies, flowers, and babies on ALL of the human resources brochures!

bsci said...

Now if they really wanted to show that they're welcoming to women, they'd need more than a brochure. Butterflies and flowers painted in hallways would really make it a female friendly department. (sarcastic.. as if I need to say that)