Are you wondering where all the women are? Are you tired of meetings with only a couple women in prominent speaking spots? I think even well-meaning people do not think of us quickly. Or they think of the same handful of women. How often have I heard as a defense for a meeting overwhelmed with white males that women were on the original list but they all said no. No wonder, if they are asked repeatedly.
The situation is even more difficult for under-represented minorities who are even more lacking in meetings. Why?
Well, now there is a list where women and under-represented minorities in ecology and evolution can sign up. If you want us, just go to the list. Regina Baucom and Megan Duffy put it together. It is self-nomination only, so sign up. It will only work if lots of people do this. Be sure to link to your web page and think about some key words because the ones they chose as main categories don’t divide the field very clearly, in my view. No social interactions, evolutionary conflicts of interest as a category, for example. Not even mutualism. But they tried, even put out a call for help on this.
Do we really need such a list for women? Aren’t there so many women in the field that there are many ways of finding them? Look at any department, at the member lists for any of our main societies and you will find plenty of women. The list was inspired by a similar list for neurobiology where there may be fewer women. I have heard of such lists for computer science and physics, but can’t put my hands on them right now. My opinion is that this list is just one way to go. If it stays open, self-select only, and well-publicized, then maybe it will become something we can point to when meeting organizers fail to discover women. I support nearly all efforts to diversify.
I think the list may be even more necessary for under-represented minorities because there are fewer in our disciplines and they are not identifiable by name. So sign up! I wish the list had an additional category for this to distinguish from the thousands of women.