Is Being Socially Compatible Necessary?

Marcia Levitus, PhD: Is Being Socially Compatible Necessary?

Reminder that it is not necessary to feel comfortable socially to do good science.

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Dr. Marcia Levitus's Bio

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Transcript: Is Being Socially Compatible Necessary?

So I worked in different places and some were women friendly and I felt better than others. Again, one of the things you learn is that you don't need to feel comfortable socially to work and do good science. I think coming from college you-that's a learning process. You naturally look for people that you feel socially comfortable, and then you realize sometimes it's completely different people that you work better with. I personally, because of my nature, never felt that I had to fit in to be comfortable. I was always, I mean I was very I don't find usual. I mean again in school I wasn't average girl, clearly not and I never felt weird-I didn't care. It wasn't something that it changed my life at all that people thought I was different.

Again, it has a lot to do with my mom being very different; having a career during a time that it was very weird to have a career. I don't mind fitting in. I don't care about that. It doesn't make me uncomfortable not to be the same as everybody else in the room. It might make some people uncomfortable that I'm different, but it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable so I guess that's an important part. I work in a field where very often I'm the only woman in the room, very often. I don't care about that. The only time I care is when I realize that somebody else cares. That's the only-I mean I need to deal with that, but I don't mind. I don't need 50 women around me to feel that I fit in.

I felt uncomfortable with some people working, not because of being a female, just because you know people that I couldn't deal with. I'm not a very-I don't deal very well with very competitive people, and people who will not help you because they're competing with you. That thing like I just cannot stand. Those are the times when you need to really try to change projects or just find something to do and slowly move to the side and do less of what you need to do with that person and move into something different. I had situations like that where you know slowly I just started doing less of something and finding a different project because I couldn't deal with some people.

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