This post by scitrigrrl hit home, big time. When I interviewed for one of my faculty positions, it was clear things were not going well when the faculty kept telling me, “You’re so young.” There were so many unprofessional things that happened during this interview that hearing this comment from several faculty members seemed quite normal. In retrospect, it was my first interview, so I was not as prepared as I should have been. However, that is no excuse for some of the comments during that trip. It started off during breakfast, where I was regaled with a 90 minute conversation about the faculty member’s divorce, including personal details that should have NEVER been mentioned in a formal interview, and basically ended with the “You’re so young” comments. I know I dodged a bullet there, and am thankful that I had the opportunity to see the crazy before getting more involved in that department. What is your craziest interview story?
So much of what we talk about here at Tenure, She Wrote is about straddling the often-conflicting expectations of the academic workplace and cultural pressures outside of work. At work we often equate age and expertise, masculinity with leadership. Outside of work, looking young is usually seen as a good thing.
A few weeks ago, there was a discussion over on twitter – and followed up on by @drugmonkeyblog – on looking young as a scientist*. Or rather, on people commenting on your age and making assumptions about your age, based on how you look. In terms of action, Drug Monkey hits the nail on the head – just don’t do it. Keep your opinion to yourself.
The issue I want to discuss is this: Why is this a problem at all?
According to Western norms, and a helluva lot of advertising, we should be happy to be seen…
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