What would you have done?

Linnea Ista lkista at UNM.EDU
Fri Feb 9 17:18:43 EST 1996

On 9 Feb 1996, DAWN C. GORDON wrote:

> HI!  This happened to me 4 years ago.  At the moment it happened, I
> thought nothing of it; soon afterward, when I told some girlfriends
> of mine, it "hit the fan".
>      The situation was an interview for a major Canadian graduate
> scholarship.  I sat through a 20 minute interview, answering
> questions about research interests, etc.  There was a panel of
> interviewers (1 or 2 women); one man played the "tough" role.
> Anyway, near the end of the interview were the following three
> questions from the said man:
>       1) We see that your present surname does not match the surname
> given on your publications.  Why is that?  Me: I am married, and
> that is my maiden name on the publlications.
>       side comment: is that what those rings are for
>       2) How do you propose to handle marriage and a career?
> ME: It's not something we entered into lightly; it has been my plan
> to go to grad school, and my husband supports me.
>       3) What does your husband do?
> ME: He is a technical salesman for a controls company...
>       I was 23 at the time.
>       This still irks me; some have said I should have complained to
> the granting agency.  However, I wasn't really bothered by it.  It
> was my friends who had a greater problem.
>       By the way, I did get the scholarship (I wonder if I had made
> a smart remark, whether I would have been successful?)
>       Thanks, DAWN
Perhaps I would have found out if similar questions were asked of male 
candidates and then sought some sort of recourse if they were not.  I am 
not certain though. At 23 I was pretty easily intimidated!! Either that 
or being nervous and angry, I would have made a smart remark.  

Now I would  probably point out that these sorts of questions are illegal 
if not addressed to my male counterparts as well (probably not as most 
men do not change their surname), then reported it to the granting agency.


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