Today’s Washington Post has an interesting piece on Columbia University’s economist Graciela Chichilnisky and her ongoing disputes with her university over pay equity. The article raises familiar issues about perceived differences between successful men’s and successful women’s demeanors.
Columbia officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing litigation, said Chichilnisky can be abrasive and has difficulty getting along with colleagues. Her supporters say that even if the description is true, she would hardly be alone in the world of tough-minded academicians. They also add that if she were a man, the traits would not be an issue.
“On the one hand, the Larry Summers of this world question women’s genetical abilities in the sciences, while our powerful institutions use all their money and might to crush women who show what are the true genetical abilities of women in the sciences,” Chichilnisky said.
Taking on the Economics of Gender Inequity
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 3, 2007; Page B02
In the world of economic theory, Columbia University‘s Graciela Chichilnisky is an A-list star.
Nobel laureates laud her work and call her brilliant; some economists credit her with an important economic theory. She is involved in the economics of fighting global warming internationally, and she was recently elected to the university senate.
Chichilnisky is also embroiled in a bitter 16-year fight, including two lawsuits and a countersuit, against the Ivy League school where she teaches. She says she has been a victim of sex discrimination. Her salary, she alleges, has not kept pace with those of her male counterparts. Research grants have been taken away, and administrators have retaliated because of her complaints, she says. Read more…