Monday, October 30, 2006

Broader Impacts (2)

Lately I have been reviewing a lot of proposals. All of them note that female students are involved in the research and associated classes and internships, and in most cases the % of female students is > 50%. Every single proposal is by a male scientist or group of male scientists, including one that involves 12 men and no women.

I review the proposals based on the science and not the gender of the people involved, but it makes me wonder whether these guys are aware of the disparity. I've reviewed proposals by some of these men for years, and for years they have been writing in the *broader impact* sections of their proposals about the large number of women students in their programs. I just wonder if they look around their all-male or almost-all-male departments and wonder why there aren't more women colleagues.

In my own department, the male faculty definitely think that we're in good shape because we have so many women undergraduates and graduate students. They have said this directly in faculty meetings: we don't have a problem with diversity, we have lots of female students. Then they scratch their beards contentedly. [I might be stereotyping just a bit there; some of them have moustaches and no beards]

1 comment:

Ms.PhD said...

Oh, I really do appreciate that you rant about these things, so I don't have to.

That said, I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for the male grad students in my lab who have to write Diversity Statements for their fellowships, and have the nerve to complain to me about it.

It's obviously just lip service, like ethics courses and sensitivity training.