Women and Genetics.....?

CAShug cashug at aol.com
Wed Apr 17 21:52:12 EST 1996

Graham Dellaire wrote:

<<I have always wondered what was the great attraction for women to 
<genetics, especially clinical or cytogenetics.  I have seen whole floors 
<in medical genetics dept. that were all women (prof's and grad 
<students).  I have also noticed a large number of women in masters 
<programs or as lab tech's in almost every molecular biology related lab 
<I have ever worked in.  But something happens to them all.  Very few 
<make it to Ph.D. and even fewer to professorships. >>

I'm been fortunate to have had a woman mentor-- I've worked the past 6 1/2
years as a lab technician for a tenured woman PhD. It certainly helps to
have someone to look to as a mentor or at the very least, as someone who
has succeeded in the system. 

I'd be hard pressed to name any other female lab techs who have gone on to
graduate school--but after a lot of time sitting on the fence, I've
applied to graduate school this past fall and was accepted at two. I'm now
in a dilemma. Not which school to go to but whether to go or not. I
thought it was all settled in my head but now that it's decision time . .
. I'm thinking twice. I guess part of the reason is that a M.D. I work
closely with is up for promotion to Assoc Prof. and I hear of all the
politics and the tight job market--and I'm starting to think twice of my
goal. I thought I wanted a lab of my own but I'm not so sure now. I love
the benchwork--I'm fairly independent and plan and design my own work--but
I'm afraid I hate what a P.I. has to put up with and do in order to

My questions are: Is the job market in academics and industry really as
bad as I'm hearing? or are the people here exaggerating? Should people
consider graduate school? or would I be better off in industry? or with a

I know there's a lot of topics here but I'd appreciate any comments.

Confused in Connecticut,
Christine Shugrue

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