It seems to me that if various organizations (professional societies, journal editorial offices, funding agencies, university/college administrations) made even minimal effort to find out if someone being considered for an important position has a history of sexist or other disturbing behavior (as in a serious, long-term problem beyond just being socially inept), they would be able to weed these guys out. And if it became known that you weren't going to be the president of that society or the program officer for that funding agency if you had a record of inappropriate attitudes and behaviors towards women or other groups of people, maybe things would change eventually. Maybe.
I asked a few people about this most recent example of someone being given a powerful position despite decades of not being able to deal appropriately with women as colleagues or students (see last post), and no one I knew (including this person's former advisor) had been asked to give a reference. His advancement was based entirely on his publication and funding record, without consideration for other aspects, although these will now become of paramount importance in his new position. I think it should be possible to filter out the people who should be disqualified owing to a long record of sexist behavior from those who have just been annoying or not particularly likable and might actually do a good job despite their personality dysfunction.
8 months ago