Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Bittersweet Day (more bitter than sweet)

Wait....wasn't that part of a song? Weird deja-vu moment.....

Today....was a rough day. All related to job search stuff. Lots going on, but I'll try to be brief.

Search #1: This was the one I've been involved in, on the committee. Today our candidate accepted our offer. On the one hand, I'm really excited. This person is very, very good. I like this person a lot. He will add a lot to our program. The students loved him. But on the other hand....hiring this person means that the gender mix in our department is even worse than it was before. And this means that I will still be the only woman in my program, for what looks like a very long time. We don't anticipate hiring anyone else anytime soon. So I have very mixed feelings about this. (This probably warrants its own post, and I need to do some more reflecting on it. So, more on this later, I promise.)

Search #2: This was the one that I wasn't involved in. We met today about this one, we selected a candidate. A fine candidate. But....ack, there are so many reasons why I'm frustrated with the decision. ...

Edited on Feb 22 at 10:20pm: I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not take posts down. But on reading what I had here originally....well, it was just too raw and too emotional and ultimately I did not feel comfortable leaving it up. I admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable with the self-censorship, but I hope that you understand. What I will say instead is that the decision was frustrating, I felt strongly about the candidate that we did not select, and I was upset. These things happen. After a bit of reflection, though, I don't feel as strongly as I did yesterday, and I do think our chosen candidate will be a good one...an excellent one, even. Maybe different from what we're picturing, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.


Andy said...

I'm sure it will turn out OK.

Just think of it this way, they can't turn out to be any worse than you think they might be. They might surprise you and be great. Think positive.

We have a guy where I work that everyone thought would be the absolute greatest for a job(I do all the testing parts of the interviews here for developers). I gave him his tests he did OK but everyone said he was the perfect fit. He isn't, to this day they wish they hadn't hired him. I recommended a lady for the job who tested the same as the guy but to me felt like a better fit. Everybody said "oh no" she wouldn't be as good a fit. Now they wish they had hired her. So do I.

Sometimes people everyone thinks are great turn out to be not so great.

Sometimes people everyone thinks will bomb turn out to be the greatest.

Give them a chance and hope for the best.

*begin comment rant*

As far as getting more women into teaching in your area of expertise. Nobody has more influence over that than you. You can set the example that girls want to follow. If not you then who? I have seen very few women in this field. I have worked with even fewer. It's a d@mn shame too. My best friend in Junior high and high school would have made a great developer. She has mad math skills, blows me away everytime we talk. Her family is very traditional though and she got married right out of high-school and never went further. What a waste of a mind. It's changing though. I see a few more women every year. I wish acedamia would do more to encourage and recruit women into this field though.
*end comment rant*

Jane said...

Thanks for your comments, Andy. Sometimes having the perspective of a day, of separating yourself from the situation, can bring some clarity. Yesterday's post (which I've since edited a bit) was very raw and I was still very upset when I wrote it. I feel differently today; I feel more hopeful.

About the gender/role model thing: I agree with you 100%. I have a post I've been meaning to write about this, and I promise to do so soon. It is a shame and believe me, I see plenty of talented women who would be great in this field, but who are too intimidated to try, or they're so turned off by the culture. It's very frustrating. This is a big priority for me....but it's hard to make progress when you're an army of one, so to speak. (but again, I'll have a whole post on this soon, and I'd love to hear your comments!)

~profgrrrrl~ said...

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the whole gender/role model thing. And hope the new colleagues turn out to be ones that you enjoy.

BTW, I was hired to my first academic post with another young woman. Unusual in my field and exciting. AND ... she was a total backstabbing bitch. Which is to say that the right person can sometimes be more important than the gender balance.