Open thread on grad school decisions

We’re now at the point of the year when prospective grad students will be attempting to make decisions about where – and perhaps whether – to go to grad school in philosophy. Such decisions are invariably complicated. But being a female prospective grad student introduces an extra layer of complexity that can be difficult to navigate.

And this brings us to the issue of. . .climate for women. [dum dum dum!]

How can female students try to get information about the gender dynamics in departments to which they’ve been admitted? What strategies can they use to make the most informed decisions they can about whether and to what extent a department is women-friendly? Are there particular things to look for? Particular things to watch out for? What do you wish you’d known to look for when you were applying to grad schools?

Let’s be clear: this is NOT an invitation to discuss particular departments or particular philosophers, by name or by description. Any comments critical of the “climate for women” at a particular university will be deleted. Let’s keep it friendly, and let’s keep any criticisms generic. Specific departments should be named only if you want to highlight something really good that they do. So if there’s something that your department does to help female grad students – current or prospective – then by all means share it. That kind of information is really useful for women trying to make comparative decisions.


Anonymous Grading: Why and How

I’m looking for information on anonymous grading, both the reasons to do it and the best way to go about it (assume electronic grading). Suppose your department was considering a policy of requiring anonymous evaluation of undergraduate student work, what arguments would you use in favour? What are the best sources for information? And also, how would you suggest it be implemented?

Help and advice from the lovely community of feminist philosophers appreciated.

How to Hire More Women for Technical Jobs

A new reports says women are just as likely as men to be hired for technical posts as long as they are in the applicant pool in the first place. The report, “Solutions to Recruit Technical Women,” recommends that companies include at least one viable female candidate for every position it tries to fill.

“Nouns and adjectives associated with male stereotypes, like “assertive,” “driven” and even “coding ninja,” can signal to women that a company isn’t open to hiring them for technical roles. Instead, the report suggests using less subjective language that focuses on “measurable and quantifiable criteria.””

More here.


This article is all the rage among my Facebook friends. Sounds interesting! If only I had time to read.

Although research indicates that single parenting is not by itself worse for children than their being brought up by both their parents, there are reasons why it is better for children to have more than one committed parent. If having two committed parents is better, everything else being equal, than having just one, I argue that it might be even better for children to have three committed parents. There might, in addition, be further reasons why allowing triparenting would benefit children and adults, at least in some cases. Whether or not triparenting is on the whole preferable to bi- or monoparenting, it does have certain advantages (as well as shortcomings) which, at the very least, warrant its inclusion in debates over the sorts of family structures we should allow in our societies, and how many people should be accepted in them. This paper has the modest aim of scratching the surface of this wider topic by challenging the necessity of the max-two-parents framework.