bias in peer review

Sabine Dippel sabine at hlrz28.zam.kfa-juelich.de
Tue Jun 17 06:37:28 EST 1997


In article <5o5kfm$s4m at n.ruf.uni-freiburg.de>, bonifer at sun2.ruf.uni-freiburg.de 
(Constanze Bonifer) writes:
 
|> Yes. This is exactly what these studies say.And that is why I say:
|> Develop countermeasures.Say: it is a FACT that there is discrimination.
|> So we want out fair share.
|> I am speaking from a country where affirmative action is non-existant.
|> 
|> Here science is completely male dominated. I am fighting things like:
|> Being constantly addressed with Herr in letters, in spite of the fact that I am Frau,since nobody seems to be able to imagine that a woman is an 
|> assistant professor 
|> having to develop a certain style of speech, because I am the only woman in 
|> lab leader meeting and nobody would listen to me if would not 
|> have developed a loud voice,
|> and in turn..when I gain some respect, I am a bitch.
|> having to discuss with men about whether to employ a female as academic 
|> director even when she is in child bearing age and may go on maternity leave,
|> and so on.
|> 
|> In this respect I envy the US. Even if you think you have a long way to go.
|> But at least there is some conciousness about the problem.
|> 
|> Constanze
|> 
|> 

What is even worse in this country is that men still constantly tell you 
that it is an advantage for you to be a woman in a predominantly male 
field/environment (in my case it already starts as a student - I'm a 
physicist, which means that only 10 % of the students are female). 

And even though there is no affirmative action in Germany, job openings 
usually end with the phrase that "The university wishes to raise the 
number of women in its staff, so women are explicitly urged to apply."
An earlier version of this, "In case of equal qualification, women are 
preferentially chosen," was banned by some european court. 

Still, this phrase sticks in the minds of men, which is why the have 
the impression, even if none of them actually _knows_ a woman in the 
higher realms of academia, that women get "preferred" treatment and tell
me "YOU will have no problem finding a job." Great - if I only could 
believe them...

To do them justice, there are quite a few men who also see the truth,
though mainly because they know/are married to a woman or have a daughter
experiencing problems. (Or have been in search committees for professorships
in German universities to which women applied.) But still, their number 
is small. 

By the way - to those in this newsgroup here in Germany - like you 
Constanze - who speak German, I recommend the book "Der Quotenmann",
the author of which at the moment escaped me, but it's a "Fischer-
Taschenbuch".

Sabine

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