Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gender in Higher Professions: How Does It figure?


"“People say, oh, we shouldn’t have quotas, but diversity is a form of excellence, and there are plenty of outstanding women out there,” Jo Handelsman, president of the Franklin society and a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin, said in an interview. “You don’t have to lower your standards in the slightest — you just have to pay attention.”

Some would like to see novel approaches to treating systemic problems that often work against women’s scientific ambitions. Mary Ann Mason and Marc Goulden of the University of California, Berkeley, have gathered extensive data showing stark male-female differences in the family structure and personal lives of academic researchers at the top tiers of the profession."

A very good piece! And not only for those in academia. More here.




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11 comments:

Sra said...

Curious thing about the male:female ratio in physics versus other sciences. Physics is the only hard science I studied in detail, and I did rather well at it. Obviously the discrepancy isn't a matter of whether the female mind can handle the subject or not (I'm actually slightly offended that the article even mentioned that possibility, even if it doesn't support it -- the fact that the notion is still out there is appalling). Maybe there's a female-hostile culture in the physics world, who knows?

I do think that child rearing and family matters are holding women back career-wise. There aren't nearly as many house-husbands as -wives.

tina said...

The bit about the sacrifices that young women make when pursuing careers strikes a chord with me. I love what I do and I love my field. But I can't help but wonder sometimes if I would have had a more personally enjoyable life if I had gone into something less challenging.

Becca said...

We have a long way to go in terms of real gender equality. Just because women are the ones carry the babies for 9 months, they shouldn't be 'encouraged' to stop their careers. Aren't families supposed to support one another?

Brooke said...

I have daily examples of times I say to myself that gender inequality is alive and well.

will said...

Gender will be a non-issue when people won't have the need to ask women 'when' they'll reproduce themselves while at the work place.

Dori said...

It's insulting to me when people think you don't HAVE TO lower standards when hiring women. Uhm, Saw What?!!! We have a long way to go!!

Sean said...

I noticed today as I was reading the news how prevalent the gender discussion is... From Caroline to Hillary, et al.

dave said...

It was really interesting today watching the news and seeing how Clinton was received at her new job. Individuals like her make gender look inconsequential and I think we will truly get gender equality when people of any gendered identity learn to self-define in ways other than gender.

Anonymous said...

While the shift has occurred, we still have a long way to not see gender as a barrier.

Alex said...

If only gender were inconsequential to all.....

Nicki said...

There is not a lot of understanding between professions and what it takes to succeed in some of them. Take academia, for example. There is a reason why such a small number of people can do it.