The hiring process from the perspective of a new hire: Part II

This is the second part of a two-part post detailing my (a new faculty member) experiences on a hiring committee.  For Part I, go here.

The campus interviews

We had our three candidates on campus for interviews over a period of seven days.  Each candidate flew in the day before the interview and had scheduled activities from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm. Candidates had a meeting with the department faculty, meetings with each of us individually, time with the Dean, lunch with the graduate students, gave a seminar, and had dinner with the department. Overall, the three candidate each did a great job – one of the best things about doing phone interviews first is that collegiality and competence come through pretty well on the phone.  All the candidates were personable, prepared, and would probably be successful in the position.

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Presentations without representation

I just returned from a major conference in my field, where 15% of the speakers (invited and contributed abstracts) were female. The plenary speakers were only slightly better, 3 women across 12 talks (25% representation). Neither of these statistics is representative of the field, although I was not privy to the sex ratio of abstract submitters. And consider this: the trainee award competition, which involves plenary presentations and is very prestigious, had 5 female speakers out of 8 total (62.5% female). Following this plenary session, the comments on Twitter were unanimous: The talks were excellent and the judges were going to have a tough time picking a clear winner. 50% of the travel awards to trainees were given to females.

It would be conservative to say that my field is 30% female Continue reading