To test scientist’s reactions to men and women with precisely equal qualifications, the researchers did a randomized double-blind study in which academic scientists were given application materials from a student applying for a lab manager position. The substance of the applications were all identical, but sometimes a male name was attached, and sometimes a female name. Results: female applicants were rated lower than men on the measured scales of competence, hireability, and mentoring (whether the scientist would be willing to mentor this student).
something that I actually found interesting was this tidbit from the study:
The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student.
This… is not really that surprising to see? I mean, some women are particularly hard on other women in a career context for a variety of reasons. They may not want to give up status as an “honorary guy,” which can be particularly common in geek circles, or they may perceive other women as a threat or competition for limited “female” spots. Surely you’ve seen things like gamer girls saying that such-and-such girl isn’t a gamer, she’s just a poseur holding a console to attract dudes? It’s the same general concept, but it happens in professional spaces too. Being a lady does not, as it happens, mean that you are free of internalized misogyny.
(That said, this isn’t really something I’ve personally experienced—most of my scientific mentors have been female with one exception, actually—but it’s definitely something that women in my circles have discussed and pay attention to.)
mhm. I think it’s not that surprising, I just think it’s something worth noting, especially since there’s often this idea that it’s just all the men trying to keep all the women down and having more women faculty would fix everything but in reality it’s a lot subtler and more complicated than that.
Oh yes, total agreement there.