The difference between men and women in academia

30 September 2013

… is that the men don’t answer their @#$%ing email. I’m on a committee with 3 women and 3 men, and here’s how we make decisions:

A woman makes a suggestion via email that we discuss an important policy change.

The other two women respond within an hour or two, batting the proposal about, offering thoughtful ideas or tweaks, each time asking for input from the entire committee.

Four days later, not a single man on the committee has responded at all, even as time is ticking by for said policy changes to be effected. (This is not an age issue; two of the men are young, untenured guys.)

The women suggest we put the issue to a vote of the whole department.

So no wonder my attitude by the end of the day is:

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4 Responses to “The difference between men and women in academia”

  1. Becky Says:

    I think that is the difference between men and women is all work settings. I had the same problems in hospital administration. I bet if you put it to a vote, they would think of a reason to further procrastinate. I don’t understand it.

    • Didion Says:

      Amen to that! I used to call this “learned incompetence” as a strategy for faculty to avoid getting tapped for any kind of service at all. Sort of like when your (male) partner can’t seem to figure out how to stack the dishwasher.

  2. Hattie Says:

    Funny. I just finally phoned a person who was holding up a newsletter. He said he’d e-mail it right away. Still waiting.

  3. Liz Says:

    The men are rationing their energies and work only on things that will really get them promoted or a raise. Sitting on a committee and being passive is enough in most cases to check the service box. I tell my teenage daughter if she doesn’t see a man doing something not to do it either. Unfortunately it us harder for women to stay under the extra work radar because we are generally expected to be more of a team player, but TRY! I admit I cannot always follow my own advice.


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