Leaking pipes, was Re: old girls and hiring

Heidi N LeBlanc leblanc at unixg.ubc.ca
Wed Mar 29 13:09:25 EST 1995


SLForsburg (susan_forsburg at qm.salk.edu) wrote:
: wardp at herald.usask.ca (Pearse Ward) wrote:
:   (stuff deleted)
: > There are
: > currently enough women in science to fill 50% of available positions and
: > serve as mentors for the next generation if equality of opportunity,
: > parity of esteem, and a willingness to re-evaluate traditional ideas on
: > how science is done (hours of work, job sharing, family leave etc) are
: > made the main goals......

: Pearse's comments, inside the affirmative action thread, made me stop
: for a moment.  My department recently had a job search and fewer than
: 20% of the applicants were women.  yet at the postdoc and student 
: level, numbers are indeed around 50/50.  Informal talks with colleagues
: at other institutions suggest the same observation. New thread, then.

: Where are the women?
: Why arent they applying?  

this is part of the point I was trying to make.  My recent search for a 
post-doc was, to say the least, trying, and I frequently found myself 
asking whether it was all worth it, especially since trying to get a real 
job is only going to be worse.  I don't think my search was made worse 
because I'm a woman, I just think there's lots more people out there than 
jobs, and that the pyramid has a pretty small tip and a broad base.  So 
when you're depressed, and wondering whether to pack it all in, it makes 
a big difference if you know people like you who have jobs, families, who 
aren't miserable.  If, on the other hand, you say to yourself " not only 
is it hard for anyone to find a job, but on top of it you won't get 
tenure because you've had a child", you start looking for less stressful 
alternatives.

Pearse brought up the idea that people respect you less because they 
think you were hired for questionable reasons.  I don't think that 
attitude lasts very long if the hiree does a good job - people remember 
what you've done lately.  The damage is if the hiree buys into it.




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