Friday, October 14, 2005

The Glass Ceiling in My House

(with all due respect to the Fresh Prince)

So yesterday, one of the elder scientists that we have working here comes to my office and asks for a folder of materials for this program I've been working on. I've been putting together a computer simulation, and the folder contained the design elements for the project. But none of that is all too relevent.

It seems that because I've had to work on some other projects, they want to give this one to our new receptionist hired last week. (This bothers me too, because I enjoy working on this particular simulation, and I have been spending some time on it, even though I'm not supposed to.) It turns out that the new receptionist has some basic computer knowledge, and that they're going to try to teach him some programming and potentially develop him into some sort of technician position. Great for him.

However, it's funny, because it seemed to me that the receptionist who just left a few weeks ago was a competant intelligent person. She could transcribe scientific documents and was able to help anytime I needed her to with computer issues.

Now, I don't know all the details. Maybe the old receptionist didn't want to do anything more complicated. Maybe she wasn't all that intelligent. But I do remember her sitting around alot and being bored. We have the need for the help. You'd think if we were so interested in having a technician, someone could have asked her?

Maybe Larry Summers was right, and the new guy is just a whole lot smarter. Or, maybe, yet another woman lost her chance at becoming involved in science because of our deeply held gender stereotypes.


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