What the ‘doctor’ title means for women of color with doctorates

I am still taken aback when introduced at functions or to peers by my first name after prior introductions of my male colleagues included “doctor.” Though it may not always matter to my ego if I am called “doctor,” it is critically relevant to fostering a culture of respect and belonging. …

While I am usually unperturbed by not being introduced or addressed as “doctor,” I am sensitive to introductions that are followed by “and she is Native American” – as if being Native American were a barrier to achieving a Ph.D. in and of itself. Every time I hear this I hear the “and” emphasized in a tone of shock and awe. I imagine people thinking: Can you believe it? She is Native American and went to college and someone gave her a Ph.D.?

By Cecilia E. Suarez, University of Florida & Robyn Hannigan, Clarkson University for The Conversation

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