Friday, July 14, 2006

A "Fresh" Approach to an Old Problem

Via Pandagon and Majikthise, I discovered this newstory about Ben Barres, a Neurobiologist who had a sex change (from Barbara to Ben) nine years ago. I haven't a subscription to Nature, hence I cannot get my hands on the original piece. However, the WaPo has a write up of Barres' Nature piece here.

A "fresh" (can you hear the sarcasm) perspective on the question, why aren't there as many women in top research positions in science. Here are some choice quotations from the WaPo piece:

"By far," Barres wrote, "the main difference I have noticed is that people who don't know I am transgendered treat me with much more respect" than when he was a woman. "I can even complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man."

Barres said the switch had given him access to conversations that would have excluded him previously: "I had a conversation with a male surgeon and he told me he had never met a woman surgeon who was as good as a man."

What a shock? There is actually bias against women in the workplace? You jest? But, why listen to me, afterall, I am a woman. So, if you don't believe what a chick says, check out Ben Barres on the matter.

And, read what Amanda has to say on the matter.