WICB Blog - Women In Cell Biology
Greetings fellow Cell Biologists! We have created this electronic space in response to the suggestions and requests we received in the most recent annual meeting. This will be a moderated space as currently we feel that is probably the best format. This is a work in progress so I hope you will be patient as I serve the role as moderator of this space. Ideas on development and direction are always welcome.
So what do you think - check http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=legislation-would-hike-nih-funding-2009-02-06
Seems like the pros and cons are being debated quite heatedly...not sure why there should be cons, unless I am missing something, but then maybe I am looking at it from a biased perspective. I hear some people who had good scores back in Jan but did not make the cut, have begun to get positive letters. If your grant was a borderline case, you might want to make sure that you are current with all your univs paperwork so that when you get a letter you can hit the ground running!
A lot has been written about the workplace attitude of men towards women, and also women towards women. There's an article in the NYT which discusses the latter category. If you haven't read it, here it is. I think this is a an excellent forum to engage in a discusion of this issue. I'll wait to read someone else's thoughts before I get on my soapbox!
Sorry about this protracted silence, and thanks to all those who e-mailed me asking if I was fine. Things seem to have lost their normal distribution and there've been far too many outliers. I hope some of you were able to attend the WICB lunch at the recent ASCB meeting. Perhaps someone who attended it could tell the rest of us about it. Despite the fiscal climate, I think it is a good idea to look at where one stands in terms of remuneration from an institution. The Chronicle has published some data compiled by the American Association of University Professors. The AAUP has many interesting bits of information.Oh, if you are wondering, an apeirohedron is a polyhedron with an unbounded surface.
I'm not sure how many visitors to this page will be attending the meeting next month in SF. WICB has an excellent program planned for members, so do make it a point to check it out.
So please do not hesitate to send me any suggestions in terms of topics for discussion here. It is clear, from what you all can see, that most posts are getting a number of hits. This means we have readers!
She presented a couple of neat studies where women and men negotiated for themselves or for someone else. Turns out women negotiate better for others - much better! Check this url for some interesting statistics: http://www.womendontask.com/stats.html.
So why is it that women don't negotiate for themselves? Linda provides a host of reasons for that, and while she does place a caveat that her sampling was only in the west, I am confident that the findings will hold good most socio-cultural settings. Incidentally, her studies, not surprisingly revealed that women who negotiate are viewed as aggressive and perceived negatively - which may well be one reason why women are diffident when considering negotiating.
Towards the end of her talk she discussed strategies for negotiating, which I understand she has covered in depth in her second book - Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Briefly though, she suggests some obvious and not so obvious points. A key point was attitude/emotion when going in to a negotiation: since attitudes are contagious, go in with a positive one. Most importantly, since women are socialized into being good negotiators for others, and if you are more comfortable negotiating for someone else rather than yourself, pretend you are doing this for someone else! She had a neat slide where she said you should do a six week run at the "negotiation gym". Start easy and step it up until you start hearing a "no" - if you don't hear a no it means you aren't asking for enough! Fear of hearing a no is what stops us from asking. In fact if you hear a no, she recommends rather than walking away, ask why the answer is a no. Oh and the negotiation gym trick - well, practice it in situations outside the one you are really working towards!
Author of "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide."
Linda started the talk with telling us how she got involved in this area in the first place. A few female grad. students had complained to her the their male peers got all the plum teaching assignments - teaching classes, as opposed to being TAs. After some investigation, she learnt that the male students had gone out and requested the concerned faculty powers that they would like to teach a class rather than be TAs as that would help their prospects when job-hunting. When she told the women students this finding, their response was that they would have asked too had they known that was an option! I am fairly certain this will resonate with many readers! She gave some other examples from studies she had conducted and said that in the final analysis, small disparities in early stages of ones career simply get magnified ("molehills turn into mountains" was one of the slide titles!), so that by the time you retire the reduced income can be staggering. Consequently, the negotiations for your first job are often pivotal in everything downstream!
She also talked about the difference in negotiation approaches and styles and considered the reasons for them. Her demographic for her studies thus far has been the West, in order to reduce cultural variables.I will update this later.