The Stereotype Trap

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That women in science and in the professional world in general are subject to gender biases with real consequences (lower pay, less career opportunities) goes without saying. In this context, I find it important to be aware of how easy it is to be biased myself. Not in order to justify, but to better understand. I have recently made two experiences with my own and fellow female researchers’ biases, in situations where I somewhat slipped into a man’s skin.

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Love Letters from Marie Curie

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It’s That Time of The Year again. Talented* junior researchers all over Europe and the world receive that magical email containing the promise of joy and a better life: They get notified of having successfully gained a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, arguably one of the best things that can happen to a postdoc in Europe. For those who do not know why, a few key characteristics :

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How to choose the correct address in emails?

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Having emailed fellow researchers around the world, I noted some differences in ways of addressing people that for some might be offensive and for others very polite. I often struggle when trying to decide how to address someone and over the time have derived the one main rule that allows me to finish any mail at all: However my email correspondent signs is how I call them. I don’t mean their fancy signature with all honorary degrees, but the words that are usually preceded by “Best, …” or “Regards, …”. Surprisingly often for my German sensibilities, this is a first name. Of course, there is this dreaded first email to someone you have not been introduced to (otherwise the introducer would take care of name choices, phew).

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