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News & Press: Outside Sources

Hostile Work Environment Keeping Women Out of Science

Thursday, September 25, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Utano
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AWIS Executive director & ceo Janet koster featured in huffington post article.

Are Nasty Comments Like These Keeping Women Out Of Science?



"It's death by a thousand cuts. Every day you’re faced with some comment, some snide remark, some inability to get a name on a research paper. And with an accumulation of those experiences, women tend to walk with their feet."

That's Janet Bandows Koster, executive director of the Association for Women in Science explaining one of the reasons why so few women pursue science careers--and why those who do often abandon them. She said that in addition to feeling that science jobs aren't particularly family-friendly, women already working in science and those who aspire to often feel that the science community is biased against women--and in some cases downright hostile.

Koster's comments were echoed by Jennifer Selvidge, an MIT engineering student who last week wrote in a HuffPost blog that hundreds of discouraging, sexist remarks had been directed her way. And then there's the wealth of scientific evidence showing just how many women leave engineering, and how many women scientists report on-the-job sexual harassment.

Curious to learn more about sexism in science, HuffPost Science reached out to women on the secret-sharing app Whisper. We asked whether anyone had ever said or done anything to discourage their interest in science--and, as you can see below, we were flooded with responses. (WARNING: some posts contain graphic language). Meanwhile, you can find more on Whisper here.

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