Is this why it’s so hard to get into biotech?

First off, thanks to ScientistMother for her great post that got me thinking. The comment I was going to leave evolved into this post.

According to the Harvard report regarding women in sciences, women my age are leaving sciences in record numbers. At least, this is what I gather, I’ve lost my nice academic privilege of reading stuff like this for free. You would think this means that women my age are in demand. More specifically, women with experience galore (me), education (me), smarts (me I like to think), and motivation (me). Can you tell I’m taking this personally?

I had been ‘blaming’ the lack of nibbles at my applications to various companies on things like lack of industry experience or something was wrong with my cover letter or resume.

Could it be that what’s really going on is that companies are leery of hiring a woman in her mid thirties because statistically we’re a dropout risk? Other women I’ve spoken to in my general age range are finding similar issues – we all hear that biotech is struggling to find good people, we all hear about the “oodles of positions available” in high biotech density areas in the USA, we all hear about the supposed brain-drain of good high-tech people seeping south across the border leaving positions here empty. And yet it takes forever to get an interview, let alone an offer. How do they know our ages, when they’re not on our resumes? Pretty easy. You see someone graduated with a BSc in the mid nineties and you can deduce their age.

Maybe it’s too early in the game for me to be disillusioned by this, or even claim that I’m having a hard time in my job search. It’s only been two months, I’ve had one significant nibble, and the last bit I’ve not been seriously searching thanks to a little time and attention gobbler. All the same, I think I’m going to remove anything that screams mid-thirties from my cover letter.

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One response to “Is this why it’s so hard to get into biotech?

  1. At the roundtable I was talking about, they kept mentioning that industries were screaming for people yet why no-one can find jobs I have no idea. On the other note, what is revealed when I leave comments?? I know my blogger profile comes up but not my name or location?? do you mind emailing me offline?

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