>Well, crap. There it is.

May 19 2010 Published by under gender

>OK, now I get it. I have been lucky, as a women in science, to not be personally affected (that I know of) by the gender discrimination. I was thinking of how lucky I was recently, reading the posts by Dr. Isis and drdrA. I was always willing to accept that gender discrimination happened in science...but since I never saw it I figured that it must be somewhere else. Somewhere less, well, "enlightened". But last night I was introduced full-steam to what I had been missing.

Backdrop: I am in a somewhat unique situation, as I have recently landed a tt asst prof job in the same city that I did (am doing) my postdoc. Postdoc Institute is a fantastic place to learn science. The atmosphere is collegial and collaborative, and I did pretty well. I was really excited to land a job at BigU down the street, in a great dept. with some super people. Many of the folks that I have known for many years as a postdoc are now prof-level colleagues. Some even have affiliate positions in my new Dept. So, I guess that the relationships I have with these people is changing some as a transition into my new independent place.

Which brings me, finally, to last night. I was at a dinner for an invited speaker. I had felt pretty good that the faculty that was arranging the event had thought to invite me. So, I'm sitting in this room full of older (all white) men, including my postdoc mentor, when all of the sudden a conversation about selecting students/postdocs starts up. All of the sudden I (the only female in the room, and maybe the only jr faculty) am sitting in the middle of a conversation about how women from families with divorced parents (actually the words used were "broken homes") are likely to have "daddy issues" and can be a real drag to have in the lab. The whole conversation was a big joke for them.

WTF? Are you kidding me? Seriously? I just sat there, silence. To his credit, my postdoc mentor looked pretty uncomfortable. But he didn't say anything, either.


2 responses so far

  • Anonymous says:

    >"To his credit, my postdoc mentor looked pretty uncomfortable. But he didn't say anything, either."You'll never know for sure whether your postdoc mentor pulled the speaker aside later, threw him against the wall and told him to cut it out.But probably he didn't. Sorry to say.Now you're a little less lucky but starting to have it happen in your presence as opposed to in your absence. So, protect your heart. Talk *very* little about yourself or your personal life, and amazingly these guys will probably be happy they get to talk so much about themselves. Word verification: proff (!)

  • Gerty-Z says:

    >Anon-Unfortunately, I know that there was not a chance for Dr. PI to talk to DR. BigShot later, so there was no other chance to speak up. That being said, I sat quietly this time but probably won't again. I'm not the kind of girl that can sit there and let people act like this. Next time I won't get caught so much off guard so at least I can make some snarky comment to bring attention to the fact that people are acting ignorant. That is my usual MO, at least.

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