I’m a recent college graduate with a degree in biochemistry. When I inform people (typically older men) that I have a degree in science, I’m usually asked whether I want to teach high school, middle school, or become a nurse. When I tell them that I’m actually applying to PhD programs in biochemistry and neurobiology, I’m met with blank stares.
Now, teaching and nursing are incredibly important and demanding careers. I have several friends in each field. But why do people I assume I am not interested in a career in research because of my gender? Why, when I correct them, do they look at me with such confusion and dismay?