Women in THE SCIENTIST

Rachelle J. Bienstock rachelle at picard.niehs.nih.gov
Wed Dec 3 10:40:26 EST 1997


Janet Mertz raised an interesting question.  I think to a certain extent
women self selct out of competitive faculty searches for several
reasons.  One, is that women in general have lower self esteem and so
think to themselves, "Gee, getting a faculty position is so competitive
how can I successfully compete with the other 200 applicants?  I don't
have any publications in Science or Nature...I'm not good enough".
Second, if women are married there is sometimes compromising with a
spouse.  Many male candidates are married to women who don't work, or
women who have more traditional careers- teaching, nursing, etc. that
are portable so they will follow a spouse whereever he gets a position. 
Women candidates who are married are ususally married to another
scientist, or professional whose career is not so mobile so they don't
have the freedom to apply for every faculty position in every location. 
Third if women are married and thinking about children or have children
they begin to think that the amount of work required to obtain tenure
might not be possible with small children or infants, or even that they
will not be a competitive candidate if they appear at an interview
obviously pregnant.  In addition, day care hours are usually suited to
the 9 to 5 workday and don't provide for weekends, evenings and other
holidays...Regular school hours have this problem too ...

I think male candidates have fewer of these problems...women are still
the ones who bear children, and even when men help alot with the
children and home, ultimately the primary responsibility for these tasks
ususally lies with women...



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