women hires

Caroline J. Walker walkerc at CLEMSON.EDU
Wed Aug 26 10:51:41 EST 1998

I have been interviewing in industry recently and was amazed and pleased to
see the number of women bosses.  My perception (which could admittedly be
way off) was that the women were thriving in industry.
	If this is the case then it seems possible that in industry there
is a situation where there is a common goal and a profit motive in a
department.  The whole group will therefore benefit by having the best
people in the jobs and it is therefore self-defeating to discriminate
against women for positions and promotions.
	In academics, departmental members are working more or less
independantly - whether one faculty member recieves and NIH grant does not
depend on how well a colleague performed on their NSF grant.  The
connection between faculty is more fuzzy with good collegial input being
vulauable, good teaching sometimes appreciated and an overall benefit by
bringing good research into the Dept - HOWEVER, I think it is far more
possible to discriminate against women hires without shooting yourself in
the foot!  Without the incentive to simply go for the best person
regardless of sex, women hires may be slower for a long time.
	Its probably true to say that if women are really appreciated then
conditions for their employment would be made more attractive e.g time off
on the tenure track to have families, on site daycares etc.  So perhaps
what we need is to force more of a team like structure on academics?

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