My male colleague (a doctoral candidate close to completing his degree) wrote an email about organizing outreach activity to the head of a conservation non-profit in one of our fields of study. The email was overall formal in tone. My male colleague’s rank is clearly stated in his email signature. My female friend and I, also doctoral candidates and experts in our own right in this subfield, get mentioned in the email as “enthusiasts” that “hope to participate.” No mention is made of our rank and expertise in biology and conservation outreach. We’re not just random ladies off the street that are enthusiasts. We have spent the best years of our youth devoted to conservation and have spent time also training professionally for conservation outreach. If he had written “enthusiasts and fellow graduate students”…that would have made all the difference in the world. Moreover, my colleague of six years misspelled my name. When I mentioned the typo, he makes no apology and laughs it off as “hahah. I’m getting tired.”
I’m afraid of bringing the email up to our lab group and being labeled as “too sensitive” by him and our female boss. I also want to set an example about how microgressions do have consequence and show my younger female mentees that standing up for something is important. Sigh.
Story signed by : I’m getting tired too, dude
The story happened to me as a PhD student in the year 2014 around an academic institution ‘Not in Belgium’