Female/male Lab Dynamics

klier at cobra.uni.edu klier at cobra.uni.edu
Tue Sep 14 17:37:41 EST 1993

In article <CDD2oJ.DA3 at news.cis.umn.edu>, diqui at lenti.med.umn.edu (Diqui LaPenta) writes:
> In article <1993Sep14.103806.7272 at mcclb0> madsen at mcclb0.med.nyu.edu (LISA M. MADSEN) writes:
>>Perhaps I'll start things off with a question.  Has it been
>>anyone else's experience that women in the lab are expected to perform
>>organizational and menial tasks (for example, getting luch for
>>visiting scientists)  as well as their own experiments and men perform
>>these tasks much less frequently?  Is this a dynamic present only in my lab? 

> That dynamic (females getting stuck with duties below that of a secretary)
> is outside of my experience. 

Ditto.  I did volunteer to "play lab tech" running some isozyme gels
one Saturday for one of the profs who was +/- familiar with the lab,
and a visiting big wig... they had some potential new species and I
was as interested as anyone in what the gels might look like....
besides, I was going to be running some of my own material that day,
and it was not much more work to run the "new species" too...

The prof to whom I volunteered my services took me aside and
discussed whether it "looked right" for a female post-doc to
be "lab tech" for a couple of male profs... and how would it
look to the visitor...?  We compromised... I ran the gels, they
bought me lunch and dinner, and a lively scientific discussion
was had by all.  8-)

But _expected_ to be lab slave???  No way.  I suspect that I wouldn't
even have found a *polite* way to say "jump in the lake"  ;-)  (Iowa
of course has been the "Land of one lake-- but it's a doozy!" this year.)

Kay Klier   Biology Dept   UNI

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