Skip The Stereotypes | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 42 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: October 19, 2009

Skip The Stereotypes

Department: Letters

The article describing the increase in the number of women in executive positions in the chemical industry is another example of C&EN's commitment to covering topics relating to diversity in the chemical industry (C&EN, July 20, page 26). However, the choice of quote from Betty Spence to use not only in the article but also as the "teaser" in the table of contents page was disappointing.

Reinforcement of stereotypes, even if seen as complimentary, is not useful for anyone. Individuals should be valued for the diversity of their experiences whether that is a result of training and education, gender, ethnicity, geographic origins, cultural background, or religious tradition. Furthermore, if the insinuation is that women executives would not have fallen into the economic downfall we currently are in, then what should be the conclusion if new leaders (women or otherwise) fail to get us out of the situation?

In most basic terms, we all desire for individuals in positions of power-no matter what their gender or other defining characteristics-to work responsibly to ensure first the safety of employees and consumers and then the prosperity of their employees, stockholders, or other stakeholders.

Laura Lowe Furge
Kalamazoo, Mich.

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