I got an email the other day for an event that looked awesome – the subject line read “7 Top Faculty @7pm, Wednesday – The Stanford 2020 Symposium: Visions of Tomorrow!”
Super cool, I thought. The description promised “7 Top Faculty, 2 Hours, 1 Awesome Night” and had a link to a Facebook event with more info.
But, when reading further, I discovered that all seven speakers were dudes. Are we serious that the 20 co-sponsoring organizations (headed by the ASSU and VPUE) could not find one single female faculty member at Stanford who would have something important to say about the future?
What bothers me so much about this incident is not only how completely and totally women’s voices are excluded from this one event, but how it reflects on other trends of female representation at Stanford. A few other fun facts:
- Women still make up only 26% of the faculty at Stanford.
- Since 2007, we have has six ASSU exec teams that were two guys and only one that had a woman on it (I see you Angelina Cardona!). For those of you doing the math, that’s 1 out of 14.
- On May 10th, Stanford is hosting a panel on Stereotype Threat that – once again – is three guys and three guys only talking about it.
One would think that we would learn about the importance of women’s voices in public discussion from national events like the congressional hearing on birth control and the 2008 financial crisis, but we just keep creating spaces for high-powered intellectual conversations and not inviting any women who – if I could just hazard a crazy guess – might have some smart thoughts to share.
If Stanford can organize a Visions of Tomorrow event and completely forget to include any women in the conversation, it seems like we should be questioning just how forward thinking we really are.