Monthly Archives: January 2016

If Two Women Work Together, Does the Work Exist?

OnTheShouldersofGiantsI’ve been thinking a lot about that recent economics study regarding women as co-authors not fairing as well as their male counterpart co-authors and single authorship… and the huge catch I’m having is that even if you have two female co-authors the inference then becomes that no one did any work which is completely unsensical, but in context…if say looking at an application of one woman’s work you discredit it, and in another application process or evaluation of the other woman/co-author’s work is then discredited too… it’s like the article/work isn’t even real and didn’t happen. Yet it is there, and did.  ‪#‎iftwowomenworktogetherdoestheworkexist‬?

Stories about gender bias such as the one mentioned above When Teamwork Doesnt work for Women, There’s no XY (shouldnt this be XX?) in Team, and others like Female Scientists Told to Add A Male Author to Their Study further support fears and career concerns of women, and of myself.

I’ve never cared about who’s name comes first in authorship of equal contributions…but as of late I have been wondering if this was a mistake. Perhaps, I should have requested reverse alphabet more or not have let others in front since they were going up for tenure or on the job market…in many cases it was even my idea–wanting to be a good colleague and friend, or being in a higher status position. I do ideally believe all the good work would be recognized and those who matter would know.  Over the last year or so I have spent a decent amount of time wondering if this has hurt me career-wise… according to this it hasn’t in my equal collaborations with females (which is most of my collabs) so that is something…rather it has just hurt us both possibly… but we do know if you are never sole author it definitely seems to have consequences for women. And what does this mean for first or lead authors? Can there be a lead author if two women work together? #nextstudy

While I think we have always known sole authorship is of course weighed most heavily,  I do not think we realized this biased disadvantage in partnering-up. I love collaborating. I will continue to collaborate as I think it spurs microcreativity, can be efficient (particularly when you have a high teaching load and few resources), and above all, we all [stand] on the shoulders of giants.