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Gender Discrimination

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On 14/04/2018 at 9:23 PM, spectastic said:

I think it's just the nature of the jobs. leaders and decision makers need masculine qualities to move things forward and see things get done.

On 14/04/2018 at 2:59 PM, spectastic said:

the issue i think has more to do with the environments that exists in these STEM settings, such as negotiations, decision making, expression of ideas in clear/concise manners, most of which favor masculine qualities.

I'm pretty sure that comment was a reference to these comments you made. But thanks for the unnecessary mansplaining!

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On 05/04/2018 at 2:28 PM, fuzzylogician said:

I'm in a field where there are more women undergraduates and about as many graduate students as male students. But fewer women get onto shortlists for academic positions; in fact, even once on a short list, they are still less likely to get hired than a man on the same list; fewer women currently serve as faculty members; fewer women get chosen to present papers at conferences; fewer women have their papers published in peer-reviewed journals; fewer women get invited to contribute to handbook articles, which feature the top scholars in the field giving an overview of their main research topic(s); fewer women are invited speakers at conferences; fewer women get their work funded by government agencies. I could go on.

But this poster thinks that being a woman magically opens all doors for a candidate, from sample size N=1, and not even having a full picture of that particular one. To which all I can say is, Wow. 


Troll or not, if anyone is still interested, here are Canadian websites of gender bias in two of the highest research chairships:





From Canada's Tri-Council Research Funding Agency's evaluation of those two prestigious awards, which supports @fuzzylogician's post (I can't tag fuzzy for some reason): @fuzzy

Emphasis mine: "Some of the potential explanatory factors identified by the panellists relate to the CERC program design, while others relate to the wider university context (given that universities did not submit any female candidates)...The CERC program focuses on the most senior international researchers with “eligible nominees required to be, or soon to be, full professors” in a context where approximately only 20% of Canadian and 19% of US full professors are female....The CERC program focuses on the S&T Strategy’s four priority research areas and the STIC sub-priorities, in which women are underrepresented." http://www.cerc.gc.ca/about-au_sujet/publications/evaluation_2014-eng.aspx#3_0

Emphasis is mine: "In this regard, the inaugural competition of the CERC Program has been a great success, awarding 19 Chairs to an array of truly outstanding researchers within the four S&T Strategy priority areas. However, all of the 19 Chair winners are male. Given the leading contributions of Canadian and international female researchers across the range of research disciplines and fields, this outcome is troubling and requires an examination and redress. Excellence in science, technology and innovation necessitates the insights and contributions of the best minds. The full contribution of all, regardless of gender, is not only an equity imperative, but also a pragmatic reality. In a global competition for talent, and with an aging workforce, Canada needs the contribution of everyone." http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_05589.html

S&T: Science and Technology; STIC: Science, Technology, and Innovation Council

These aren't made up by my own perception of bias. They're actual official evaluations by Canada's Tri-Council agency, which oversees funding across all research fields in Canada.


Personally (and, yes, I'm not in math @justwonderin), I have had personal experiences in my STEM field where faculty have made derogatory comments that would appear to be re. my gender. And, yes, I am making a subjective judgement about being about my gender thus the word "appear." And, yes, my sample size is 1.

Like "get used to being under men if you want to progress in academia and get a job," and just recently "nice boobs" which was especially disgusting because I was talking about my work and this prof some twice my age was just staring at my chest. Apparently, what was in my head was overshadowed by the size of my chest and my gender.


On 05/04/2018 at 2:35 PM, samman1994 said:

It is rare to find someone with a "similar" application. Considering all the factors in an application, I'd say yes, it's rare to find someone who has similar worded letters, a similar networking, similar SOP, similar scores, etc. There are a lot of factors there.

As @samman1994 notes above, it's rare for two applications to have a similar application.

Just because a person does not go about talking about their achievements does not mean they don't have them. I am ranked one of the highest in the country for one of the federal scholarships in Canada (I know because I got a a special citation), but I have never mentioned it to anyone in my cohort. My recent federal scholarship application, the feedback from one of the reviewers included "In addition, exceptional letters from referees make this a remarkably stellar application; applicant is well deserving of this award. I am thus awarding this application a perfect score." 

But to anybody else, I might look like I have the same exact accomplishments (i.e., I got the same awards as X).

My point is that sometimes things aren't as black and white as they seem. And, yes, again, I acknowledge my sample size is 1. 

Give yourself a chance to engage your female peers in conversation. You might just discover that they could make your experience in university a better one. And lest I sound like a hypocrite, let me share my side as a woman: despite some bad experiences since starting grad school, I refuse to paint all male peers and faculty with the same brush. One of my most valuable mentors is a (male) full and very distinguished professor and he has been a much trusted ally who has always fought for me; I actually cried when I learnt of the level of his support for me very, very recently, which he never explicitly stated. I do know, though, that I am a much better academic and person because of him.


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Oh god, what has this thread become. All it took is one butthurt OP and everyone is at each others throats. What I do think is interesting however is the debate regarding differences between men and women on a mental/emotional level. I think everyone can agree, there are very clear differences physically between men and women, but are there any differences mentally/emotionally? And if so, do these differences impede or help the individual in the field? It is interesting that those that take a stance there is a difference, and that it is this difference that has accounted for mens success in the field make these claims. Where is the evidence for that? Do you have evidence that women are mentally different than men? Do you have evidence that this mental difference is why men are successful in the field? Or why there are less women in the field? That is a psychological debate, that I don't think there is an answer for. While one may claim women and men are mentally different in thought, I don't think you could define the difference, nor state whether it is a good or bad thing.

However, I do think you can claim that this "idea" has definitely impeded the progress of women in the fields of STEM for the reasons that everyone has stated above. There is definitely evidence that this typing of thinking not only exists, but has had a detrimental impact. 

Also, I'd just like to note, I find the arguments women are not good for science for reasons of they're slower, more emotional, etc. to be the same type of rhetoric slave owners used to have for their slaves back in the day. That they thought just because of the color of their slaves skin, these individuals must be dumber, or lack the capability to learn. This is also why I'd caution you against slandering an entire gender with these type of fallacious insulting arguments. You may not realize it's insulting, but it really is insulting when you tell a women they cannot do something because they are a women and have too many "emotions", just like it's insulting to tell a black person they can't go to school because they're black, and that means they're not smart enough for school. Discriminating on race is racism, discriminating on gender is sexism, and as stated above, I don't see any evidence why one should either. 

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