Of all the questions I have been asked in my scientific career, perhaps the most troubling came from a former department head when I told him I was expecting my second child. “Was it planned?” he asked.
I had not yet secured tenure and took his remark to suggest that I was not committed to my career.
While I inwardly seethed at his assumption, I did not challenge it. Instead, like many women, I manoeuvre around such awkward and frequently offensive situations. In fact, at a women-in-science event at which I spoke, the organizer began by sharing strategies to change the subject when faced with inappropriate comments. But why should we? When such techniques are recommended as a form of professional development, enough is enough.
To read the full article by Tricia Serio, visit Nature News.