Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There's Only One Way She Got That Job

When word got out that I was being appointed to head a major state agency, the phones began to ring. The question being asked: who was I having an affair with? Certainly, there must be a man pulling the levers of power to get me the job. I laughed it all off. The important fact for me was that I did get the job, which was a great opportunity for me. When I left about 5 years later, the consensus was that I had performed well.

That was more than 20 years ago. Women have made tremendous progress since then, right? Let me know what you think after reading this article on the efforts at M.I.T. to provide a level playing field for the recruitment and promotion of women in the School of Science. While the discussion may not involve sexual favors, there are allegations of preferential treatment for women faculty and students.

I see it another way. Removing bias and barriers allows women to rise to their full potential. When symphony orchestras began holding blind auditions (musicians playing behind a screen), the number of women selected rose significantly. So don't pay too much attention to people who cast doubt on your qualifications. Believe in yourself. Take the job, the promotion, or the award and do your absolute best. Your accomplishments will answer the only questions that count.

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