From the hastac blog post: “The often unconscious and unintentional biases against women, including in academe, have been well documented in the autobiographical writings of authors such as Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Patricia Williams, and bell hooks. But is the experience they document merely “subjective”? Several recent social science research studies, using strictly controlled methodologies, suggest that these first-person accounts of discrimination are representative, not simply anecdotal.”
Numerous studies have illustrated that women are just has biased against female STEM students as men. Here is a nice infographic that summarizes how this bias is perpetuated through letters of recommendation. If you are asking a professor for a letter of recommendation — remember s/he often has many of these to write. Providing us a list of your accomplishments – as related to the position you are applying to – is super helpful.
[excerpt] When Cady Heron failed calculus in order to impress her crush, Aaron Samuels, in the film “Mean Girls,” she showed how detrimental internalized gender roles can be.
Men often dislike when women outsmart them in traditionally male-dominated tasks, such as math or other analytical activities, and women may alter their performances in order to comply with expectations according to some studies. UT associate professor Paul Eastwick and his colleagues conducted a study in which they polled undergraduate men about whether they would be interested in dating women who had scored higher than them on tests.
Fifty three first and second year undergraduate women from five different schools in Colorado and Wyoming spent the weekend in Estes Park learning about their own strengths, career paths in earth and environmental sciences, meeting mentors, and forming a peer network that will hopefully support them through their undergraduate years.
Geoff Marcy (UC Berkeley) incident indicative of a larger problem
The resignation of Dr. Geoff Marcy an astronomy professor at UC Berkeley has garnered a significant amount of press over the last week. He resigned after a UC–Berkeley investigation found that he violated university policy by sexually harassing women serially for a decade.