Response to comments on last post
Sorry to have to do this in a separate post, but Blogger ate my last attempt and now there are even more comments here...
Becca wrote: Oh the horror! He offered you a job- how very offensive. ;-)
Mind you, it sounds like this particular fellow was a jerk and managed to blow the communication badly. Maybe there was some body-language
Becca, it wasn't a tenure-track job. And I have it in writing.
Kea wrote:the MAJORITY of women with jobs have partners in the field, or a closely related one
which also kind of answers profgrrrl's question about how common it is. This is also the case in my field (and Kea and I are in different fields).
geekmommy prof: I misunderstood. I thought your comment implied that you both have tenure-track jobs. That is what I mean when I'm talking about couple hires.
you also wrote:
you present your advisor as a spineless, gutless, completely uncreative shmuck. Yet he must have had some redeeming qualities at least when he was young, otherwise he would not have been hired
He had pedigree. And he does have some skillz.
He is also uncreative, extremely clueless in many ways, and a big fat liar. But I never said spineless or gutless. In fact I think it takes great courage (or arrogance?) to be a brazen, self-serving liar.
Good luck to you and your group.
Anon 6 pm wrote: Another implicit assumption you are making is that anytime someone makes a spousal hire, someone else does not get hired. Being on the other side of the hiring committee, I can assure you that this is not true. I have seen several occasions when deans have opened up specific slots for spousal hires from some sort of faculty-retention fund, and these positions are positions the department would have never gotten otherwise; the money would have simply been lying around in the university
This may be so at very rich places, but in the current climate, and at most universities, it is either/or, not both.
Very few schools have a lot of money "lying around" with which to hire tenure-track faculty and give them startup.
Lou Dobbs: you bring up the important aspect that being a woman in any department can be crazymaking. I already had that as a postdoc. I think this is a MAJOR reason why a lot of talented women leave academic science. On top of having to defend your research to peers both internally and externally, women have to fight an extra battle for credibility in the career path just because we're women.
Anon 6:02, thanks for commiserating! sorry you are getting this too. congrats on the job! you're one of the lucky few. Very few.
prodigal academic wrote: The employer doesn't care about sampling the whole wide world of available employees.
This is a major point for women and minorities and why our numbers in the tenure-track are not representative of our numbers coming into the pipeline.
particularly in regions where professional jobs are difficult to find.
This is actually a believable argument, and it makes sense to me. But I've seen a lot of spousal hires in major, multi-institution cities with a high density of job opportunities.
Anon 3:47 wrote: In addition to dealing with male scientists in her department with super-egos, now she even has to deal with people like you!
Um, no, she doesn't. I'm not there.
Don't you think you are being hypocritical here by assuming that just because a woman was hired as a spousal hire, she has no merit?
I never said that, actually. I've been talking more in general about whether this women are a) willing or b) able to act as mentors to younger women, given that they got their jobs via a rather specialized route that may not apply to their mentees.
In my field, when I went looking for women mentors to help me with my applications for faculty positions, I realized that almost none of them had gotten their jobs by applying on their own. I asked anyway; they had no idea how to advise me.
And actually I also want to point out that all of my spousal hire complaints apply to men, too. It's just that in my field it's still mostly the husbands being recruited and the wives following; others have posted here (and on previous posts) that they know of several examples in other disciplines where the wife was recruited and the husband followed (as in geekmommyprof's case, except that her spouse took a non-tenure track position).
I've read FSP's blog for a long time, as have most of my readers (I think). I often find her posts inspirational, but she's coming from a slightly(?) older generation, a very different discipline, and she's just one person. She has been highly successful, I think, and may not be representative of the average experience of most women in science. Neither would I say that I am representative of the "average experience". But on the spectrum from me to her, I think we both have valid points to make, and deserve to be heard.