I have recently been baffled by a professor X saying to me “I am really doing my best to encourage women to pursue a career in science, but it is really hard. I’ve started thinking that maybe it is just something in the women themselves. I talked about it with Y and we’re pretty much on the same page.” I’m noting here that both X and Y are white, middle class, male full professors, but that I consider especially X to be a very nice, kind and helpful man.
I explained to him all the reasons why I think what he said is BS. However, I do not think he has changed his views. And I wonder: if this man, of all the academics I know probably one of the fairest, nicest and most helpful, thinks this way – how are we ever going to make a change? And how do I convince the man otherwise?