Re. proper attire.

Janet Mertz mertz at
Tue Aug 18 00:01:43 EST 1998

	I am a senior faculty member in very informal Madison, WI where many
people don't even dress up fancily for theater concerts, shows, and plays.
I dress similarly to Susan (minus the jewelry) around the lab. I don't even
own a dress or skirt. I only dress up in fancier clothing when having
meetings with the M.D. types in the medical school since they almost always
wear nice clothing for seeing patients. When I interview prospective
students, I don't expect them to be wearing fancy clothing since I consider
such clothing to be incompatable with seriously working in a lab. Clean,
nice, "casual" wear clothing is fine unless you are concurrently
interviewing for medical school - e.g., M.D.-Ph.D. program. Good luck,

	Janet Mertz

At 03:34 PM 8/15/98 -0700, S L Forsburg wrote:
>Data point:
>I am a junior faculty member in laid-back California.  I am occassionally
>mistaken for a secretary but in general the secretaries dress much better
>the scientists.  One of our jokes is that the worse someone is dressed, the
>higher their rank.  Right now (typical summer attire) I'm wearing sandals,
>shorts, and a polo shirt.  Some days I wear a tee shirt.  During the
winter, I
>wear jeans or chinos, a decent shirt,  topsiders. I don't dress differently
>when I teach.   For those faculty dinners, I will bring in nice slacks
>a skirt), a very nice shirt, e.g., silk, a jacket, and loafers.  I wear
>earrings, and bracelets all the time but no makeup.  If I go off to give a
>seminar, I'll wear nice khakis and a nice shirt and jacket.  I don't wear
>skirts much.
>I just got back from a FASEB meeting where most speakers were PIs.  A few 
>women dressed up for their talks (nice skirt, or a jacket), but most people
>did not.  The women who dressed nicely tended to dress more nicely even when
>they weren't speaking, so it wasn't obviously a special thing.   I gave my
>talk in shorts, sandals and an (untucked) Madras shirt.  I did not feel that
>this was inappropriate for this meeting venue which is definitely low key and
>informal.  The feeling I got was that people dressed according to how they
>felt comfortable.  I feel most comfortable dressing down, and around here, so
>do most other faculty.
>I don't mind so much being mistaken for a student (given the grey hair I'm
>accumulating! :-)  except that as Bharathi pointed out, it's usually because
>the mistaker can't fathom the possibility that a woman can be a professor.  
>DON'T REPLY to the email address in header.
>It's an anti-spam.  Use the one below.
>S L Forsburg, PhD  forsburg at
>Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
>The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 
>Women in Biology Internet Launch Page
>"These are my opinions.  I don't have  
>time to speak for anyone else."

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