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Who judges us?

Ann Magnuson ann.magnuson at biokem.lu.se
Fri Oct 23 13:25:52 EST 1998

Dear Deborah and all,
 I think you are absolutely right to be suspicious about the gender
chauvinism of boards and committees. A few years ago here in Sweden
(which I heard was recently declared to be the country with highest
equality between the sexest in the world), two female professors of
medicine uncovered a grave misuse of power by the Swedish Medical
Research Council. They could show evidence of several cases where less
merited male applicants for positions or grants had wrongly been ranked
higher than more merited female applicants. Also, the council were
guilty of promoting their own friends before others. The unrefutable
evidence was published, and the board (or parts of it) of the research
council had to resign. This incident had a dramatical impact on the
scientific as well as the political scene in Sweden. The government
introduced a rule that all universities and research councils include
women in all desicion-making committees, whenever merited women
(professor level, but not necessarily full professor) are available for
such assignments. I think this development has been extremely important
for suppressing any remaining male chauvinism in academia in our
country, and will in the long run hopefully result in more women in
tenure positions. 

I'm afraid I don't remember all the details of this affair, but if
you're interested I could dig out more information about it.
Best regards,
Ann Magnuson (post-doc)
Dept of Biochemistry
Lund University, Sweden

Deborah A.Cook wrote:
> We have talked about all manner of things about women in science and our
> career issues on this list. I don't think we have ever discussed in
> detail who really judges us?  After everything else, the publications,
> the grants, the teaching, the collaborations, the work vs. family/other
> important pursuits debate, is finished; who judges us on our
> accomplishments?  I can't say that this just occurred to me, but the
> composition of Promotion, Tenure & Evaluation Committees or other such
> review boards may matter.  For example, at a University in my city (not
> mine), the PT&E Committees are made up of exclusively Full Professors.
> These committees are likely all male.  Women faculty have had a tough
> time getting tenure or promoted here.  That should be no suprise to
> anyone on this list. Any thoughts?
> Deb Cook
> Finally,
> Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

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