I need to do some venting here, I know I will get some sympathy at least!
Husband and I recently took new tenure-track positions here, his first,
my second, and we are both ranked at Associate Professor. We were hired
into a neuroscience group, which contains about 9 faculty, only one of
which is a woman. I hadn't met the woman until very recently because she
didn't participate in our job interviews. But when we both went to see
her lab (and her husband's, they work together) and to find out what
she's doing, I wondered why she seemed very interested in my spouse's
work but not mine. I didn't give it a further thought, but a month later
we ran into her at a party given by the Dean, whereupon she promptly
introduced my husband to her associates as "the new Professor", and then
introduced me as my husband's "assistant". Husband immediately corrected
her and she apologized, but it really steams me that the only woman
colleague I have in my research area made a sexist assumption about my
status. Imagine thinking that any woman who appears with a male
professor must be his helper and not an independent scientist! She
herself must have had this happen to her, as she works very closely with
her husband and is younger than he. So I sent her a copy of my cv, and
hopefully she won't do it again.
Sarah L. Pallas, Ph.D.