managing people -experience the key

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Sat Feb 3 03:27:39 EST 1996


I completely agree with what you say here, and I also agree that it is a 
shame when talented young women don't go on in science.  What I was 
reacting to (and it was a bit of an overreaction, for which I am sorry) 
was something that I see every now and then that bugs me, which is 
whenever a difference is found between the way men look at things and the 
way women look at things, it seems that the women are supposed to change 
and think more like the men.  In this case I found it somewhat silly that 
more than half of the people believed they were "above average"--they 
all can't be right.  More than half of drivers believe they are "above 
average" drivers, too, and look at some of the clowns we have on the 
	I find the criterion of "average" to be somewhat misleading; in 
fact, the "average" scientist in the US at least (and no doubt in other 
countries, as well, but I only have experience in the US) is quite good:  
hard-working, committed, dedicated, intelligent, etc.  It's already a 
higly selected group.  Is it really constructive to encourage even more
competition and measuring of one's worth against that of one's peers?  Is 
it constructive to get more women thinking that what's important is to be 
"above average" whatever that means?  If everybody is "above average" 
then the whole concept is kind of meaningless, isn't it?
	I think the study alluded to in the original posting pointed up 
some very important issues about women's attitudes towards themselves 
and science, and I'm sorry if what I wrote sounded as if 
I was belittling them.  I was just wondering if maybe the questions 
used in the study couldn't have been designed better.


On Fri, 2 Feb 1996, Bart Janssen wrote:

> In article <4er1v9$aah at>, ravena at (Karen
> Allendoerfer) wrote:
> >Here's an example of where the women
> > are right and where their way of looking at things is more accurate
> > than the men's.  Is it "bad" because women think this way?  Or are the
> > men indulging in a little egotistical wishful thinking?
> The real minus of this thinking is that it means that a large number of
> very capable young women stop their scientific careers at a low level
> because they "think" they are not good enough.  I find it extremely
> frustrating to see female technicians being bossed around by male PhD's
> and Phd students who are in every way thier inferior.  When I've
> questioned the techs about it they say they stopped because "they didn't
> think they had what it takes to go on".   Arrrrrggggghhhh.
> cheers
> Bart

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