Lest I forget for more than a few minutes that I am a Female Science Professor, here are some reminders I got in the past 1.5 days:
1. A male colleague asked me to speak to his female grad students about "children and careers or whatever it is females need to talk about" -- Does he get points for trying to provide a temporary mentor for his women students? I said "Don't your male students have or want families too?" Yeah, but guys don't need to talk about it.
2. A male colleague was worried about his pending NSF grant and said that the funding rates are low anyway, and by the time NSF takes care of their women and minority grant quotas, there's even less funding to go around for the rest. He doesn't consider me to be one of these women because I write excellent proposals and deserve my funding. Ummm, thanks. I bet he couldn't actually name an undeserving female or minority grant recipient, but he seems to be sure that they are out there. When confronted with the statistics for male vs. female grant recipients in our field for the last 3 years for which data are available, he had to admit that his hypothesis might be flawed.
3. A male colleague at another university explained why his department had made the somewhat surprising decision to hire a rather low-profile male candidate rather than a female candidate who seemed to be very promising: the older faculty weren't comfortable with her, thought she dressed too casually in her interview, and were worried that she'd need a more expensive lab than the male candidate. This department has no tenured or tenure-track women faculty. In general, I don't advocate a university's central administration playing more of a role in department hiring decisions, but isn't anyone paying attention at any level when departments do things like this?
8 months ago