In my case I work in academia. Lots of well educated, reasonable, wonderful, enlightened people, lots of enthusiastic students and recent graduates- and a lot of people (half or more) at this early career stage are women. And then something happens and all the women stagnate or retreat or relocate or resign or die OR SOMETHING and beyond a certain point women become unusual and the ones that make it feel the need to run seminars and lunches about the issues women in academia face. I've attended plenty and read plenty on the topic, and have picked up some useful tips for success as a woman in academia:
- don't take maternity leave (from an Australian academic who brought her children to work from birth until they were old enough to attend daycare)
- don't have children (admittedly this is paraphrased by me, but from an interview with the Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrum, aged 77, who said that in her youth she "had a clear decision and made a decision not to have a family because in earlier times that would have been a very, very difficult thing to accomplish.")
- learn to play poker (this is from a US academic who said she needed this skill to network via the weekly poker gatherings), or otherwise pretend to be a man (this from a NYT article on the topic)
Suffice to say, I fail in all areas.
So why is this getting to me today? Yesterday I attended a panel discussion seminar and there was an exclusively male panel. No big deal- I've been noticing this a lot recently at seminars and conferences. But the presenter wasn't so accepting and, slightly embarrassed, said "Oh... we didn't intend for it to be an all male panel given [the program in question] has more females than males in its intake." No need for embarrassment- it happens all the time without anyone realising....
And where does that leave me? Gloomy, I think. Resigned to my fate, whatever that is. I do what I can and at the end of the day I can hope people say about me, "she did well for a woman."
On a side note, on the topic of men-vs-women, I concur with Maxabella that very few blog readers are male, especially round here, and in the process of