Gender Bias Post 8: It is MY work #ImplicitBias #GenderBias #UnconsciousGenderBiasBlog #GenderEquity

A female PhD student meets with her PI (male) once a week to discuss her research, this meeting includes a post doc in the lab (male, works on similar projects to her), at her PIs request (this is not an unusual request). The PhD student does not discuss her research progress between meetings with the post doc as they are both very busy with their work and agree that that is what the meeting is for. The work she presents in the meeting is solely her own, and the result discussions she presents are again generated by her.

Each week she is told, after presenting her work to the PI and post doc, that she needs to start working more independently and stop relying on the knowledge of the post doc so much if she ever wants to get a position in faculty, or graduate from her PhD. Every time this is brought up she points out that she does not rely on the post doc, the work is her own and, like the PI, the post doc is seeing her work’s progression for the first time during the meeting. The post doc confirms this is correct.

Her PI is always reluctant to accept this and stays firm on the opinion that the post doc has a heavy hand in all her work. In discussing this issue with a few other women in the lab (there are only a few), they have experienced similar issues.

The PI outwardly cares about the welfare of all his students, and for the equal inclusion of women in STEM, but clearly has some implicit bias when it comes to their work.

How should they handle this moving forward?