Elusive Equity, Empathy, and Empowerment
One Woman’s Journey through the Challenges of Gender Bias in the Early Twenty-First Century
This is a partial memoir about the gender bias and inequality I experienced while striving for and achieving a career in medicine. Many gratifying and fulfilling experiences throughout my life are withheld from this memoir to stay on point and not self-embellish my great privilege and fortune as an upper-middle-class American citizen. There are no mentions of chocolate, clogs, airplane adventures, beloved pets, childhood and parenting milestones, NFL football, or NCAA basketball. This is not a complete autobiography. The early chapters provide the social context and backdrop for the latter chapters, which address workforce power and control, double standards, gender bias, discrimination, the boys’ club, harassment, contrived narratives for predetermined goals, retaliation, disregard for objective data, and misconceptions. Many injustices and immoralities are simply awful but lawful. Culture change is needed. Bad behavior in academia persists because it can without accountability. Individuals who attempt to improve the work environment with raised awareness are often retaliated against and/or removed from the environment for divisive behavior. Patterns of behavior often demonstrate a disregard for the welfare of women. Women are responding, “Time’s up.” The storytelling and subsequent analyses are evidence that sexual harassment is merely the tip of the iceberg of inequity in the workplace (see Conflict Pyramid). Women want diverse, moral leadership and decision-making bodies. Systemic abuse of power is not acceptable.