Inspired by Brian Weatherson’s post on the problems with posting discussions relevant to the discipline on Facebook only, I would like to post my recent Facebook status update here. I hope that it will spark yet another important discussion regarding the status (or lack there of) of women and other minorities in the profession.
One thing that I haven’t seen discussed lately is the job market and its potential connection to the lack of minorities, such as women, in philosophy. I mentioned yesterday that I thought about leaving philosophy during my last year of graduate school and when I was on the job market. What I didn’t mention was my reasons for thinking about leaving. The main reasons stemmed from being on the job market. Cornell was an idyllic place for me (I had extremely supportive advisors), but it was possibly too idyllic. It didn’t prepare me for just how mean and inappropriate people were often going to be while I was on the job market. Most of what I experienced was very similar to what most other women in the philosophy experience on the job market – e.g., being dragged around by drunk older men from table to table at the E. APA, being in one-on-one situations where inappropriate questions were asked and too personal things mentioned. In contrast, I didn’t experience anything of the sort when I interviewed outside of philosophy. I had only two such experiences, but they were totally different from philosophy interviews. People were less antagonistic and certainly more appropriate outside of philosophy. I was fairly shocked by the difference. Lately there has been a lot of talk about the problems within the profession and taking action aimed at positive change. I think the job market and best practices are something that should be revisited now (Meena Krishnamurthy, Facebook, September 27, 4:14 pm).
With this I ask, what should be done about the current state of the “job market” in philosophy?
[Note: The use of the words “job market” is meant to highlight the meat market quality of searching for a job in philosophy.]