…But where, oh where, are the Women?
Very early on, before the talks at the Solid Psychology Symposium really started, Bobbie Spellman tweeted in a comment on the fact that all the speakers were Men! I had noted that too. (And, I had noted that in the Brussels presentation there was only one woman, Leslie John). I believe Solid Psych when he/she claimed that it was not intentional. In fact, I wanted to place this in a separate post, both because I thought the symposium was great, and the arrangers did a great job, and the speakers were wonderful, so why end with a complaint? But, also because it does deserve its own post and its own discussion
I have been a bit bothered by this, and tried to scrape up the women I know that tweet and blog about changing science. Bobbie is way up there, perhaps not with the blog/tweet activity, but she clearly is a mover. (I seem to be more of a commentator). There are a whole bunch in the open science project (Rebecca Saxe, Elizabeth Bartmes among others ), who I don’t see tweets from but who frequent the OSF mail group. We have people like Leslie John and Kate Button. We have Anna Dreber Malmenberg who was one of the people behind the reproduction prediction markets. (Hey, got my pay-off. Got myself a pair of cool leggings and a skirt that I actually wore to Holland. Yay!) But, even for me the top of mind is men. I was talking to Anita Eerland for a bit about this. It can’t really be that women are not fond of stirring the pot or go out changing stuff, considering that a whole bunch are feminists, and vocal about having their just place in science and elsewhere. Women certainly can be reform and revolution minded. I asked Bobbie to enumerate her hypotheses, because this is bothersome.(So, Bobbie, if you read this, please do).
There are a lot of women in Psychology, and in Social Psychology, the Silverbacks really are of both genders. Where are they? Why is this happening? Is it homo-sociality, as one of my colleagues (who studies gender issues in psychology) suggested. No, the guys aren’t out to discriminate and keep the women away. It may very much more be who you think of first when it comes to pulling together, well, whatever, a team, a set of speakers, some collaborators. Is it someone I, we, the women need to think about more? A bit more actively leaning in? I don’t know. But, fixing science is for all of us.
(On edit – As you see, Rolf kindly gave me his wife’s name, so I updated. As lovely as it is to be someones spouse, one should be ones own person first. It was very nice talking to Anita about this, even though it was brief.).