Title PhD Candidate

Recently, our department announced the list of candidates for a tenure track position. Three out of four candidates were white men. In some fields that might be seen as a success but in the field this position is advertised the absolute lowest estimate for PhDs awarded to females is 44%. I wrote to my department head, who has a reputation for being sympathetic to diversity issues, that I found this disheartening as woman who is about to be awarded her PhD. His response made the situation even worse. Apparently, in order to even invite the single female, the search committee had to lower their standards and open the interviews to four candidates. He further indicated that the department had done all it could to ensure a diverse hiring pool as the committee itself was considered diverse.

Before I wrote to my department head I was disheartened but believed things could change in STEM. Now, I’m second guessing everything about my chosen career path. Will my presence always been seen as lowering the standards to be here?

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