Minority Women Scientists: At the Culture-Gender Crossroads

Anthony Johnson

As we engage in efforts to increase diversity among scientists, culture is an important part of the conversation.


imageAnthony Johnson

We all have memories of remarkable moments that we’ve experienced during our arduous career paths: the joy of discovery or the thrill of an accomplishment. Unfortunately, most of us can recount a few bad times as well, such as when we’ve been disparaged or embarrassed. A pivotal incident for me occurred early in my career, when I was nominated for my first committee assignment. Naturally, I was excited and honored to represent Bell Labs at such a prestigious meeting of OSA colleagues. As we were all standing around before the formal introductions had been made, another committee member hurried over to me and asked me to serve him coffee! From that moment on, I resolved to do something about the dearth of minority participation on important scientific committees.

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