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Recognizing the invisible work in academic communities

by Laura Chouinard-Thuly

We’re scientists, but let’s not fool ourselves by pretending that our scientific thinking makes us impervious to society’s conscious and unconscious biases. Women in STEM are still experiencing tremendous barriers, being assessed unfavourably in grant applications (Whiteman et al. 2019 The Lancet 393: 531-540), receiving bad reviewer scores and lower paper acceptance rates (Fox & Paine 2019 Ecology and Evolution 00: 1-21). These biases may help explain why gender disparities still exist at the highest ranks of the academic system.

Barriers to academic achievements are real. In addition, many women are also carrying a large load of invisible work that is often assumed and unrecognized. This informal work of providing support, caring for colleagues, taking the lead in organizing events, buying gifts, etc. is often what makes our work environment dynamic, productive, and collaborative. We should make sure that this contribution is either justly recognized, or equally shared to reduce the gender gap in STEM.  

Laura Chouinard-Thuly is a postdoctoral Mitacs Fellow at Université du Québec à Montréal with the  Centre de recherche agroalimentaire de Mirabel.

You can learn about her work at : http://laurachouinardthuly.weebly.com/

Post date: March 08, 2019

1 Comment

  1. Bertrand Philip Marotte

    Here’s hoping some progress has been made since these apposite comments were posted!

    Reply

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