Point for discussion

Karen D. Alfrey alfrey at rice.edu
Tue Jun 2 23:47:14 EST 1998


In article <3571B001.6851753D at nospamsalk.edu>, S L Forsburg 
<forsburg at nospamsalk.edu> writes:
|> 
|> Do you think women have to be better than men to gain the
|> same level of success in science?  Why or why not?

Evidence suggests that is the case.  I have never met a tenured
female faculty member in the sciences who gives the impression 
that she never really does anything, but I have met plenty of 
tenured male faculty members who do.  (On the other hand, I 
haven't met very many tenured female science professors.  Our
department has one.)  The Wenneras and Wold study (Nature,
May 1997) quantifies the gap between actual performance and
performance ratings nicely -- I hope similar studies are done
on US postdoctoral and grant applications.

My big question (as a PhD candidate starting to consider my
career options) is, do women need to develop reputations for
being "bitchy" in order to get ahead in academia?  At least
in Engineering departments, that seems to be the trend.  It
makes me worry that I have the mind, but not the personality,
to make it as a scientist.

Karen




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