Reflections and experiences on gender from Joan Strassmann.


Should we women be retiring, or aggressive? How do we strike a balance between being modest, yet letting our brilliance shine? How many times have you heard stories of women who were viewed as too assertive, with career consequences? There are many examples of behavior that would be acceptable from a man that are not acceptable from a woman, but understanding the boundaries can be tricky.

We ignore this at our peril, for many reasons. One reason for concern is the predominance of males in receiving national awards, in particular those that only go to one person at a time, or that require self nomination. But I suppose even awards are not as important as seeing women scientists actually hired in faculty positions at rates that reflect the numbers of excellent women coming out of graduate schools and postdocs. For example, if the system requires that people put themselves forward…

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