Month: January 2015

From The Stemfeminist team:

We just received this gem from one calm and articulate Superfly-guy: “Wow to complain about a T-shirt when we are landing on a comet? You are pathetic, you all look stupid now, and the world can see your all angry with a chip on your shoulder. Go do something important instead of trying to get attention…”

This seems as good a time as any to mention that if we do receive privately messaged, sexist feedback, it is always our prerogative to post it as an example of sexism on this site.

From C, Associate Mechanical Engineer:

At my job we have many hazardous operations (typically crane lifts of heavy equipment or hardware). The engineers lead the operation and technicians do the tasks and Quality Assurance (QA) observes and verifies we performed the steps correctly. The engineer has to give a safety briefing at the start of the hazardous operation.

Before this operation (first job out of college), I hadn’t been the lead on any ops yet – so I hadn’t performed a safety briefing, although I had listened to lots. For the unexperienced – you lay out the steps of the operation, state the jobs everyone has, and safety risks involved. So I go through the safety briefing, and it covers all of the required topics and at the end I asked if I missed anything. The QA perks up and sarcastically (my hair was almost a bird’s nest that day) says ‘And your hair looks lovely today’.

Flustered, I move on with the procedure and don’t process it until later, when I realize how annoyed I was and why it had annoyed me. I haven’t talked to the QA who said this yet (he went on vacation for the holidays before I got the chance to address it – but will soon). But I did talk with my male boss about it. My boss was awesome and supportive and encouraged me to talk with the QA about it and totally understood why it was inappropriate and distracting, and completely supported my feelings of disrespect. And that was pretty awesome.

From Anonymous:

I presented my first conference paper as a grad student at the annual meeting of my discipline’s national association. After the session, I was approached by a junior faculty member who was the chair of the association sub discipline group. He complimented–not my presentation or my ideas– but my clothes. This happened two days after I had received a letter informing me that I had been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship with three years of full support.

From Anonymous:

Implicit bias manifests itself in creative ways. This fascinating study demonstrates how it affects student evaluations of professors, with predictably awful results. Can’t help but wonder how this skews tenure and promotion decisions for female faculty.

From Anonymous:

I work in the mathematical sciences. In my field, there are a number of well-qualified and nationally-based female scientists. However, very few of them have been recognized for their work, including being asked to serve on grant selection committees for the national granting agency. Male colleagues who have served on these committees have confided that the reasons for overlooking these women relate to their research applications being primarily in health (as opposed to, e.g., finance), which has been targeted as irrelevant by program officers in the current funding climate.