For those of you not familiar with the Soil Science Society of America and our publications, I write a column called Tales from the Pits for our Crops and Soils publication, which will now be moving to Soil Horizons as that publication makes its debut. The Tales from the Pits column is meant to be a place where adventures in soil science can be shared; they are primarily light-hearted stories that carry a message on what goes on and lessons learned in the career of a soil scientist.
The Tale of Working in a Male-Dominated Field was a story that I thought a lot about before actually sitting down and writing it. I wanted to make sure I conveyed my message in the right way, but I also wanted people to recognize that there are obstacles out there for wormen and that those obstacles present challenges that need to be overcome or they can essentially ruin a person's career.
I have to say that I have been amazed at the response that I have received from this article and so I decided to reprint it here. I have received many emails from both men and women with support of what was written and bringing the issue out in the open. I have also received many emails from women relating their tales and their struggles. One of the reasons I wrote the article was to let women know that they aren't alone in what happens out there, but some part of me was also hoping that behaviors were changing over time and people would tell me that it doesn't go on anymore and that I am outdated in my views. Given the number of stories I have heard from women very early in their careers I see that there are still struggles out there that in some cases show nothing has changed. I'd be interested in hearing from readers of this blog too.
The Tale of Working in a Male-Dominated Field appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of Crops and Soils. The article can be found here: http://bit.ly/z4b5us