2013-10-24

Business Insider and Women in Physics

I wasn't planning on posting anything else in particular this week, but a friend of mine shared this, and it really got my goat. I'd actually ask you not to click on it, because this article appears to be more like clickbait than anything else (and thats the shameful part for a site as well respected as Business Insider); essentially its premise is that women will be more welcome on Wall Street if some really "sexy" female physicists were to stop doing physics and enter finance.
Why? Do you really need to trash the self-confidence of a woman wanting to enter male-dominated fields like physics or finance by telling her that she needs to be "sexy" to be well-respected? Do you really need to make women who want to get into physics insecure about their career choices by saying that they're "pretty" so they should leave physics and get into finance? While I'm generally OK (more specifically, I have mixed feelings) with finance organizations trying to convince up-and-coming physicists to enter finance, these are clearly not up-and-coming physicists but are very well-established in their fields, so they likely aren't going to leave anytime soon. It takes some chutzpah to try to draw these women into finance, and it is doubly insulting to suggest they do so because they are "sexy". The first sentence of the article says, "Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the lack of high ranking women at top firms." Hmm...I wonder why that is...oh wait, maybe groups like Business Insider are part of the problem.

2 comments:

  1. Sexism is truly an issue when talking about technology, but the article establishes a whole new level... You are right: it is offensive.

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    1. @Mechatotoro: It's really unfortunate and deplorable that the "bro" culture is still too pervasive, be it technology, finance, physics, or whatever else, and this article only serves to reinforce the "bro" viewpoint for two of those points (by implying that these women only got to where they were because of their looks, and that only their looks qualify them to switch to finance). Also, I should have noted that this article is about 3 years old now, but no less relevant; I only saw this a few weeks ago because a friend of mine shared it. Thanks for the comment!

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