The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published “Why ‘Female’ Scientist,” a personalized account of gender bias in science academia.  Rather than pushing for the government to force universities, committees, or grant-authorizing institutions to hire more women, the anonymous author argued that when evaluating scientists of either gender, people should focus on publications and credentials.  In fact,  the author’s argument and history naturally lends itself to opposing government-mandated gender quotas in the sciences, in part because such quotas would lead to people viewing female scientists as less intelligent and less qualified than their male counterparts. 

The author’s accounts of her own experiences with sexism remind us that women do still face challenges in the work place, including in science departments at universities.  Those tempted to write off female scientists without evaluating their merits need a wake up call, just as do those who would discriminated against men in favor of women.   The author also acknowledges the complexity of the reasons behind the under representation of females in the hard sciences.  Throughout her article she maintains a positive outlook on females in science while  avoiding any “anti-man” rhetoric.  She closes with the following statement:

“…I’m still enjoying my job and determined to advertise my differences if doing so helps increase, in some small way, awareness of the magnitude of the problem, and thereby helps solve it.”

Her approach to addressing the issue of females in the hard sciences is laudable, and a welcome relief from calls for the government to intervene.