Archive for: November, 2014

My year in numbers

I know, it's not even December, but everyone starts to do all those "best of 2014" lists already like nothing important ever happens in December. And, with Little Brother's birthday coming up next week, I find myself thinking about all the things that have happened this past year. So here's my past year in numbers:

0. The number of grants I got this year.

1. The number of awesome dream jobs I currently have*.

2. The number of continents I have lived on.

3. The number of jobs I have had this year (research associate in the US, post-doc in homecountry and then industry job).

6. The number of kilometers I live away from work, which is great (most days, when it's not raining) because we can bike to work each day. With kids in the cargo bike, that is.

8(ish). (cause I don't really remember and am too lazy to look it up). The amount of weeks it took to get our car from the US to the homecountry. During these 8 weeks our car changed from a small sized, very average-looking car to a large and unique car!

9. The amount of days we went on vacation this year (to somewhere in France and somewhere in the UK). Much for US standards, very little for EU standards. This might change next year.

50. The approximate liters of milk I have pumped at work this year for Little Brother.

Lots more numbers. I thought of when I was in my spinning class last week and I got the idea for this post. But it being a spinning class, I couldn't really write them down and so forgot most of them. Oh well.


* "Dream job?" one might ask... Sure, there are no unicorns walking around the company. I sometimes miss doing hands-on lab work. And it sucks when the higher-up people decide to cut the budget to one of the projects you really like to work on. But all in all, I feel pretty damn happy in this job. Let's just hope I don't jinx it by writing that here ­čśë

One response so far

How the old boys club continues to exist

The other day it came to my attention that there was a faculty position in my homecountry. This is quite unique, because that doesn't happen that often here. Interestingly, the position was at a place that I know pretty well, with people that I know pretty well. The position asks for skills that I have and interests that I share. The position came to my attention by another way than from these people. My first reaction was annoyance that they hadn't emailed me directly, but of course I had just accepted my new industry job, so they probably thought I wasn't interested anyway*.
Next, I heard that this job was offered to a guy that I know, who then declined said job.
Next, I emailed the professor to ask for more details and a website so I could inform people I know who might also be interested. His response: "for now, we are not putting the vacancy online, but we are just emailing it to our friends in the field in order to fill the position."**
* in my dream world I would get a call from them, crying if I please wanted to come back and take this position because I am such an awesome scientist and academia won't progress without my contribution. I understand that this does not happen in reality.
** I don't know exactly whether this is legal or not here in the homecountry.

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On being taken seriously

This is a subject that has been discussed ad nauseam both off- and online, but it's also something that I have been struggling with lately which is why I decided to add one more post to the exhausting body of literature on this: how to make sure that people at work take me seriously? How to make sure people don't assume I'm an intern and don't sound surprised when I say something intelligent?

Thinking about this, I don't even really know if this problem is mostly in my head (I'm female, I tend to look younger than my age, and I tend to be enthusiastic and joke around every now and then) or that people around me actually either on a conscious or unconscious level believe that it makes more sense for a man to be a scientist and say credible things. Probably a bit of both. And for some reason being in a new environment, where I spend a large part of my day in meetings with people instead of behind my slice rig or in the animal facility, makes me (much) more aware of these feelings.

The next question is: what to do about this? With the start of my new job I have upgraded my post-doc uniform to a bunch of professional looking outfits that are in line with what other people in the company wear. I speak up when I have something to say and network with people. Is this the company culture where when the CEO says something about a quota for women in the company everybody laughs*?

So, is this in my head? Do other people struggle with this**? And what can I do about this?


* well, not everybody: another new woman-scientist and I were looking at each other wondering what was so funny about this.

** I guess I already know the answer to this, because both my IRL women friends and colleagues do, and so do the tons of hits when I google this...

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