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Women in Cell Biology

US Presidential Campaign Responses to AWIS and SWE Questions

If you are a woman scientist in the US, this should be of interest to you! The candidates were given seven questions regarding key issues facing women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. AWIS has posted the answers, with a side-by-side comparison.

Negotiation And The Gender Divide

Much has been written about salary gaps between equivalently qualified women and men - well, more like chasms than gaps in many instances. While employers are entrenched in formulaic rationale for paying women lower salaries than they do men, I think we should all try to improve our negotiating skills. I certainly need to equip myself better in that department. More often than not, a woman will believe she is negotiating, when in fact she is actually succumbing to pressure. We have a Women Faculty Forum at my university and it will be hosting Linda Babcock as a guest speaker later this month. She has co-authored a widely acclaimed book on negotiation and the gender divide and I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say...particularly since I simply haven't had the time to read her book!

Molecular Likeness

Has anyone noticed the distinct likeness when you look at drawings of people done by 2 to 4 year old kids, and text book representations of phospholipid molecules? One typically diagrams a phospholipid molecule with a circle to show the glycerol backbone and head group, with two squiggles/lines attached to the bottom, to represent the two fatty acyl chains, right? Now look at a child's drawing of a "person" - see a likeness? If you haven't seen such a drawing, just do a google search on "children's drawings" under the images tab and you will see what I'm talking about. I find it absolutely fascinating, perhaps because I spent my early years toiling over purifying all kinds of phospholipids from egg yolks, ad nauseum!To a child, human beings are simply phospholipid molecules....when I have made such a remark to non-lipidophiles - I have received the oddest looks! Doesn't anyone else see the likeness?!!

Constance and Ms. Mentor

I am not sure how many people who visit this blog read The Chronicle of Higher Education - if you don't I recommend you visit it occasionally. An article from the most recent issue (September 30, 2008) struck me as one that might interest readers of this blog - here's the link: http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2008/09/2008093001c.htm. Over the years I have met several "Constances". I think the piece highlights key issues that are often not considered and I hope that it will stimulate a discussion here.

Significant Others

The Sunday New York Times had an article about partners/spouses being deal-breakers for some job candidates - did anyone see it [click here for article]? There is a passing mention about the issue in the context of academia. The writer seems to suggest that academia tries to take a politically correct position and does not even feign interest in what a spouse does, or for that matter if there is a spouse. I'm not sure this is really accurate. I think it would be interesting to actually find out how people have dealt with veiled questions from search committees, or even potential mentors, regarding their lives outside the workplace.

We Now Have A Good Readership; Let's Get A Discussion Going

Greetings all! We've been "live" for a few months now and as you have probably noticed, all the posts are getting a good number of hits. This is fantastic! Thank you all for reading. Please consider posting: they don't need to be new posts, comments are excellent too. I have heard from a couple of people that it was not clear where/how to comment, so this is what you'd do if you wanted to comment -

Click on "Print", for the article that you'd like to comment on, or on the title of the post, and you will be taken to a screen where you can post your comments. Also, please note that when you want to post an article, you need to select "WICB Blog" as the category on the right hand side bar; the default is e-Journal Club. Please e-mail me if you have any questions. Or just post them here!