Would you have expected this?

I was surprised by an incident – involving me – on my campus. I would not have expected this, and in fact I’ve embarrassingly agreed in print with Hume about our having a natural tendency to care about others, at least those in our community who are like us.

I had been at a large and fairly formal lunch. No alcohol, but I was in my best daytime attire. Shortly after I left the hotel on campus where the event was, I stumbled and fell. Fortunately, my left hand and arm got most of the damage; my head didn’t touch the ground and nothing was broken. But I was very shaken up. So I decided not to move for a while.

So picture this: definitely older woman, black silk trousers, quite nice red top, a rope of pearls, sitting on a campus sidewalk, her back against a wall, and her legs straight out onto the pavement. A few possessions scattered by her side. A university name tag still on her top.

I think something like 20-25 students passed me. No one stopped and asked if I needed help.

Of course, I could have asked for help, but decided not to when no one seemed the least bit concerned. But I hardly looked to be just enjoying myself; I hope I would have stopped if it were someone else.

Canadian study: female academics still lag behind when it comes to recognition, compensation

Remember back in 2010 when Canada’s federal government awarded 19 prestigious (and lucrative!) research chairs to men and none to women? (If not, you’re probably not a Canadian woman academic.) Well, one of the upshots is a just-released 254-page report by the Council of Canadian Academies. The report arrives at some conclusions that Feminist Philosophers have known for a while: that academic women aren’t promoted, published or paid as much as their male counterparts; that childcare pressures are part of the story; and that implicit bias and stereotype threat are factors too. There’s a discussion of the report in today’s Globe and Mail.

Here’s a quote:

…subtle biases in hiring and promotions are still pervasive – often unintentionally. Women represent a third of all full-time faculty, but just 21.7 per cent of full professors in Canada. “A lot of times it’s perception in people’s head, and that’s because the perception is based on male characteristics to advance, and then women may present different characteristics,” said Catherine Mavriplis, an engineering professor at the University of Ottawa who holds a national chair for women in science and engineering.

Thanks, AM and MH!