Women and networking, putting yourself out there (why we find it hard) …

insights about women and networking (why we find it hard) from “Living the Life of the Mind” Charlotte Knowles (The Philosophers’ Magazine 90)

“Reticence to put yourself out there or an uncomfortableness about marching up to a veritable stranger and introducing yourself, is something that I think is particularly common for those belonging to underrepresented groups in philosophy, whether on the basis of gender, race, (dis)ability, or class.  It is common, I think, to feel that you’re not really entitled to be there (even if only on an unconscious level) and so any connections you try to make might feel like you’re trying to grasp something that’s not really yours.  Talking about your work earnestly or even at all might feel like you’re taking up space, so instead you sit back, you listen, perhaps you make small talk. …”


” … If you’ve been told your whole life you are special, that your views are important, your work is great …   Maybe it doesn’t even feel like ‘networking’ when you go up and talk to the most well-known philosopher at the conference.  Why wouldn’t they want to talk to you?  You’re great.  Maybe they’ll even learn something from you, or have a project they might like your help with. …”


“Does it really matter if you don’t put yourself out there …  Well yes, I think it does.  What it means is that a certain set of people end up making all the connections, getting themselves known, getting remembered in job searches or in recruiting people for special issues or edited collections, and for those who are not so good at self-promotion, whether face to face or, as is becoming increasingly important, on social media, they get left behind, and not because eof a lack of talent, but because of a lack of confidence and a lack of entitlement. …

But that happens even when we do put ourselves out there.  Read This is what happens (Chris Wind).  (I know, I know, I’ve mentioned this novel several times, but it’s really a good, close look at how women become and remain so invisible despite working hard to be otherwise…)

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