I've been sitting on this one for a few days. I don't want to be the downer blogger, but this is important. It's important because I'm not the only one. It's important because if it's even in science, it's everywhere.
A study just came out which found a significant gap in the perception of men and women in science. And it was a big gap. Men are simply seen as smarter and more accomplished. This is sadly a fact. They gave scientist a one page summary of accomplishments for a potential hire. They gave out the same summary to scientist in physics, biology, and chemistry. The only difference was the name of the potential candidate: one was named Jennifer; the other was named John.
On a scale of 1 to 7 they rated John a 4. They rated Jennifer a 3.3.
If this was scored out of 100, John had a 57 and Jennifer got a 47. Ten percent higher for being a man.
I play hockey in a co-ed league, and something that always comes up is should we make special dispensations for women hockey players. My answer has always been "no." Hockey is a game of speed and skill, and in my opinion, if a man isn't fast enough or skilled enough, they don't belong in the league and neither do women who can't cut the mustard. If, however, women are skilled enough and fast enough, then yes, they should play. That's it. The only difference is the gear they have.
All my life I've seen barriers come down for women. I've felt like we were closer to bridging this gap. I'd even started to feel like there wasn't as much gap left (despite my time in a very misogynistic physics department). And now I see this.