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We Want You! Musings of a New Diversity Hire~

19 Dec

Tenure, She Wrote

We have all seen the behests included towards the end of a job posting. “ We encourage minorities and women to apply” or “We are equal opportunity employers, and we specifically encourage women and members of under-represented groups to apply for this position.” As a woman of color, these phrases never meant much. They seemed tacked on at the end of every job post. Every institution of higher learning should be working to increase diversity among their faculty, staff and student populations, no? Would I want to work somewhere that didn’t explicitly state this in their job advertisement? The short answer: certainly not. Having done the job market tango several times (and as recently as fall 2013), this phrase became invisible to me. It only received a passing glance as I tried to absorb the announcements, to determine whether I could bend and twist my CV to another job posting.

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The hiring process from the perspective of a new hire: Part II

16 Dec

Tenure, She Wrote

This is the second part of a two-part post detailing my (a new faculty member) experiences on a hiring committee.  For Part I, go here.

The campus interviews

We had our three candidates on campus for interviews over a period of seven days.  Each candidate flew in the day before the interview and had scheduled activities from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm. Candidates had a meeting with the department faculty, meetings with each of us individually, time with the Dean, lunch with the graduate students, gave a seminar, and had dinner with the department. Overall, the three candidate each did a great job – one of the best things about doing phone interviews first is that collegiality and competence come through pretty well on the phone.  All the candidates were personable, prepared, and would probably be successful in the position.

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The hiring process from the perspective of a new hire: Part I

12 Dec

Tenure, She Wrote

Being in a tiny department of six means that you get a say in almost every major decision, which is a nice perk (this is can also be a giant pain, depending in the frequency of those decisions). So when a new line opened up everyone except the chair was put on the search committee. In February I was here on campus interviewing for my job, and this semester I got to help select the newest member of the department. It’s been quite a ride going from the nervous, unsure interviewee to the interviewer in less than a year. The process has been eye-opening, and perhaps it can provide some insight into the process for those about to go through it (at least for jobs at a mixed teaching/research school).

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Do your ho-ho-homework: TSW’s gift guide for the academic on your holiday shopping list

10 Dec

Tenure, She Wrote

The holidays can be a great time to show your appreciation for the academic in your life. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s has always been one of my absolute favorites– the celebrations, the festive atmosphere, gatherings with friends and loved ones, decorations, the first snow, delicious food and seasonal cocktails (I happen to love eggnog and spiced rum). For academics, however, it’s also a particularly stressful time. As a grad student, I had course and grading obligations, plus financial stress often meant I could’t travel, or couldn’t afford gifts. As a faculty, November marked the beginning of my major grant-writing season, and moving across the country for my job means my partner and I are celebrating without our closest friends and loved ones. While the holidays are a time for much-needed restoration for everyone, they’re also a great opportunity to give your favorite academic a little love and…

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How I Cured My Impostor Syndrome

7 Dec

#HOPEJAHRENSURECANWRITE

Academia is funny.  At the beginning you keep asking yourself, “What if I am not really any good?”  Then once people finally start admitting that you are good you ask yourself, “What if I’m not really as good as they are finally admitting that I am?”  Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not judging — I used to ask these questions too.  A lot.  My own favorite version was always, “Why am I so much more famous than I deserve to be while not being nearly as famous as I want to be?”  But then I got over it and stopped giving so much of a shit, which makes me cured.  Here are six things that helped, in case you’re interested.

How I Cured My Impostor Syndrome

1.  I got Tenure.  Let’s just get that out of the way, shall we?  When you don’t fit the mold or look…

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Guest Post: I’m a Mom in Science – Hear Me Roar!

5 Dec

Tenure, She Wrote

“Shame on you!” she yelled at me, glaring. “It’s hard enough for women in academia without people like you giving men cause to think we’re not smart enough or capable enough for the job!”

My jaw dropped. What did she just say? Oh no she didn’t…

Oy. I hadn’t slept in weeks. I was a new post-doc with a new baby, and this was my first time bringing my baby to a professional conference. My mother-in-law had come with me to help, but juggling baby time, feedings, sleep-deprivation, presentation preparation, leading a panel, and networking for jobs was threatening to break me. And then this fellow woman-in-science had the temerity to chastise me for talking honestly about my experience.

How did it start?

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Femininity as a technology: some thoughts on hyperemployment [Cyborgology]

29 Nov

Femininity as a technology: some thoughts on hyperemployment [Cyborgology]

Indeed, as Bogost’s example suggests, our smartphones wake us up, not our moms, just as emails accomplish a lot of the relational work (scheduling, reminding, checking in, etc.) conventionally performed by women.

Women are trained from a young age to perform this relational, caregiving, extra-shift work.Femininity–the gender ideal and norm–is the technology that helps women perform these tasks with ease and efficiency. Conforming to feminine ideals like cuteness, neatness, cleanliness, attention to (self)presentation, receptivity to others, and so on, trains you in the skills you need to accomplish feminized care/second+ shift work.

Cultivating a Confident STEM Girl

25 Nov

5 Brainy Birds

post by Synapse-

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Innate biases.  Confidence issues.  Concern about being “smart”…. and pretty much everything that could happen during those teenage years.

Let’s just say, I’m a bit nervous about having a baby girl.

Yes, yes, I know.  She already has a head start given that her mother is the example of “scientist” in the parental unit.

But what I can control and what I can’t control is already a frustrating consideration.  This tiny stranger is going to be born in the next few days and my biggest concern revolves around her confidence as a woman.  It seems crazy but I have this overwhelming concern that I need to get off on the right foot – what if confidence issues begin the moment a baby is born with girl parts and dressed in pink?

As a new not-yet parent, my theory has always been that a link exists between…

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The offer refused

25 Nov

“Academia is shockingly backwards when it comes to maternity leave for instructional staff. It seems like you either teach your full load, or maybe a reduced load without actually taking any leave, or you take the semester off with no pay, and possibly no insurance (e.g. see here, here, and here). Um, that might work if you have a spouse that carries insurance and makes a decent income, but what about those of us women who are the major/sole breadwinners??”

Tenure, She Wrote

Recently, I applied for my first academic job at a small state university.  The description for the tenure-track position fit my skill set perfectly.  I have to admit, though, the thought of working for a small university close in proximity and within the same state system as my previous (and very negative, see for example here, here, and here) pre-doc teaching experience gave me reservation in even applying.  In addition, I don’t have any chapters written yet for my dissertation and it likely won’t be finished until this summer, so it is slightly premature to be on the job market. However, a former colleague encouraged me to apply so I did despite my reservations.

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Supporting Other Women in Science

22 Nov

Tenure, She Wrote

One of my main motivations for writing here on Tenure She Wrote is to be an active part of the community of women in science, and because of that, I have been thinking a lot lately about how we can support other women in our scientific communities. There is a lot of discussion about that sort of vertical support, via mentoring, hiring, and outreach, but what about more lateral support for our colleagues in our department, our institution, and our broader fields?

There are, of course, the big things that we talk about including paying attention to the diversity of seminar and conference speaker lists; checking (and rechecking) for unconcsious bias in reviewing job candidates and in promotion decisions. But today I want to focus on those seemingly smaller things that can really make a difference to how connected and supported people feel.

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