women scientists dressing down

Patricia S. Bowne pbowne at omnifest.uwm.edu
Tue Feb 6 22:25:46 EST 1996

This thread really agrees with my experience.
I once took two senior undergraduate students
to a conference and they took it very seriously-
followed all the rules they'd heard about 
looking professional, suits and heels etc.
and nobody spoke to them! The last day of the
conference they changed into sweats in
preparation for the long drive home, and
suddenly they became visible.

I never thought of this as being a 'scientists
don't care about such frivolvous things'
issue - where I did graduate work, almost
everyone was a field biologist and dressed
as if they were ready to go out and tag
moose. So I think there, at least, it was
just a matter of looking as if you were
dressed appropriately for your important work -
which doesn't explain the above anecdote about
conferences, I admit.

However, I have to admit I share the prejudice -
especially after having had a class recently take
a tour of a recycling plant, led by a woman
in miniskirt, high heels, and long nails with
little gold charms dangling from them! No matter
how good she was a t her job, it was hard to take
her seriously in that setting.

Pat Bowne

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