I work in an environment where diversity of opinion, among senior leadership, is not appreciated or encouraged. This situation is particularly true for women. The net result is a toxic work environment, which has led to a substantial decrease in the number of female leaders/chairs.
Verbal abuse, screaming, ranting and raving, trapping me in my office. Grabbed my face on one occasion.
During my fellowship, the other male fellow was given all the studies and I could not find anyone to allow me to participate. He was hired for a position he was not qualified for and two qualified women were not.
I was alone in a hospital elevator when two surgeons stepped on. One proceeded to make comments to his colleague on my appearance and my presumed fellatio skills.
The (female) senior leadership in my department and cancer center left, and the weaker male replacements did not protect me from bullying by my facility head.
I asked the editor-in-chief of a major cancer journal about submitting a paper that I thought might be right for the journal. We were in the midst of a large crowded poster session. He told me exactly what we were going to do together, in broad daylight, with a smile on his face, and no one was the wiser.
When I made a suggestion in a meeting, upper administration (3 men) literally laughed at me for a good 20 seconds. They were laughing at the naivete (supposedly) of my suggestion. Myself and the other woman just looked at them as this occurred—I’m sure they didn’t think it was out of the ordinary or problematic at all. I cannot imagine they would have laughed in a man’s face that way, and the gender difference in behavior in the room was striking to the women at least.
Repeated instances of “Dr. Man and First-name woman”—it is pervasive even when we are at the same level of full professor. More subtly, expecting the female faculty member to just pick up the care-taking and more menial tasks in a group effort. Scheduling meetings (and conferences) at off-hours/off-days when a person could be expected to be doing home-work “because we’re all free at that time” (and presumably because they have someone else doing the housework and grocery shopping and care-taking).
As a med student (way back in the 1980s) an attending surgeon called all the male students on the rotation by their last names. He called me “honey.”
Don’t get me started on the number of times in my long career that I’ve been mistaken for a nurse, by doctors, by patients, but never by nurses!
When I started my lab, I was one of the very few female PIs and I was one of the youngest as well. Due to this, whenever I wanted to have anything done, the administrators and even the cleaning people always asked for my boss, since I do not look like someone who can actually be a faculty.
Inappropriate touching by a male peer at conferences.
Having male residents reviewed as the team leader on rounds instead of me.
The manager of a community cancer center calls me “little woman” or “little doctor” all the time but he calls my male colleagues by their last name with respect and fear.
A senior president asked me to take me for dinner but when I immediately refused because I was shocked by his proposal he told me, “well then good luck with your career.”
This is an issue that has been constant throughout my > 40 year career. There are so many that I can’t possibly list them.
I have been harassed for being gay, which while not sexual harassment per se, is related to gender.
Gender bias in promotion. A senior coworker made unwelcome offers that felt suggestive and inappropriate.
A co-worker often yelled and demeaned me in front of others, and I believe that had I been male, he wouldn’t have been so horrible to me. In general, this workplace was not very friendly to women: our ideas were not seen as worthy as men’s in meetings, and male scientists often spoke poorly of women’s contributions in the lab.
One of my senior male mentors started to feel threatened by my success and retaliated by making disparaging comments about my leadership skills, making inappropriate comments that put me down in front of large groups, and talking to my personal research contacts in order to do separate research. During the course of this treatment he made me feel like it was my fault. I spoke with leadership at my institution, yet nothing was done. I ultimately had to leave my institution because of his behavior.
Routinely addressed by first name or Ms. rather than “Doctor.”
As junior faculty/PI (female), I assumed a leadership position vacated by a man who was at the same level (tenure/experience). I was paid 40K less than he was.
While on a panel of experts at a conference, the male colleague seated next to me kept putting his hand on my knee. I was a young investigator.
Overheard a senior male colleague refer to a female scientist who was junior with a sexist remark. This same senior male colleague had a reputation for never acknowledging women in meetings, even if they were seated next to him.
New referrals preferentially given to male physicians. male physicians have a higher salary and are given several support staff—I have a part time nurse.
When serving on a committee to review salary parity (across institutions, departments), it became apparent that male salaries were significantly greater than female salaries at the same rank and tenure. Although I repeatedly brought this up as an issue, this fact never made it into the final report.
Called by my first name (including a demeaning nickname) when introduced for presentations.
Funds were removed from my endowed chair and given to a male colleague. I was “chair in name only.” I was told that “math” was too difficult for me to understand, so my accounts were never provided to me—I taught partial differential equations to grad students.
Disrespect in terms of maternity leave comments; comments about a female being ‘bossy/hormonal’ but a male being a ‘leader.’
At my institution (a well known cancer center) women faculty are typically referred to by their first name but men are always “Dr.”
Of the many examples, let’s describe a same-institution colleague at a meeting banquet, who probably had one too many glasses of wine, and told me that he was chairing a meeting in Greece. Asked if I knew how women went to the beach in Greece? If he invited me, would I go to the topless beach with him…
Grant and manuscript reviews that are not blinded often have dismissive tones in the review comments for females—less so for males and males are often ‘given a pass’ when details are not provided on certain aspects of grant applications.
There are numerous episodes through my surgical career of over 20 years. Rude and disrespectful jokes, references to my anatomy, cornered in an elevator by a senior attending when I was a medical student, unwelcome touching in front of my husband, salary disparity several times.
Ongoing and routine non-use of title/honorific when I am in certain clinical settings, salary disparity that took significant effort to discover and resolve, and, when I disclosed my pregnancy, a senior colleague thought it appropriate to respond, “I thought you were just eating too many Twinkies or something and getting fat.”
Promotion/office space/lab space/resources bias towards male colleagues.
I was not treated with respect: my title was not used (always referred to by my first name, not Dr). Pay was significantly lower than males of the same rank.
Not part of the ‘good ole boys club’ due to gender, so I am left out/ignored.
You do not have enough time: to summarize, I have been consistently made to feel that I am unwelcome throughout my career. This included attempts to intimidate me using sexually suggestive comments and physical contact early in my career—to suggestions that I should be less successful, because it was agitating my male colleagues later in my career.
Lack of opportunities or consideration for advancement based upon gender, treated differently and disrespected, not called by honorific (PhD), passed over for administrative promotion, treated as “de facto secretary” (assumed I’d take notes) because I was the lowest ranking woman in the room for a senior admin meeting.