What if you went to work every day knowing you would be presumed incompetent? According to the book, Presumed Incompetent – The Intersections of Race and Class for Women of Color in Academia, that's the reality for minority women teaching at the college level. They're reached the Ivory Tower – the professional world where ability and achievement are rewarded with tenure – a secure, well-paying job. But they aren't like to get in. The book is a combination of studies and essays – offering statistical data and personal experience to back up the assertion that minority women face quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) discrimination on the job – not just from their peers and college administrators, but from their students. It's not a huge population – women of color held only ten percent of instructor positions at US college six years ago – and the numbers decline as you go up the academic ranks. Carmen Gonzalez, a professor of law at Seattle University School of Law, is one of the editors of Presumed Incompetent. I spoke with her about the barriers faced by minority women pursuing an academic career.
Coming up, more on women who refuse to stay inside the box.
Stereotypes – they're a way to limit us – to tell us there's something we're not supposed to do. Stereotypes have discouraged girls from studying math and science – it's perpetuated the myth that women are only suited for jobs that involve nurturing and service. Producer Clay Scott brings us the story of a young single mother from Montana who has become a game warden, and discovered a talent for busting poachers...and stereotypes.
That story comes to us courtesy Mountain West Voices.
And finally, Gilles Malkine has another stereotype-busting woman. She is considered one of the best all 'round athletes there ever was...and she was the first woman to challenge the men on their own green.
Gilles Malkine is a writer, actor and musician. He lives in New York's Catskill Mountains.
That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.