I found Anjali Bisht and Chelsea Jedele’s viewpoint ( “Where are all the women?”, 3/19/13) extremely frustrating. I fundamentally disagree with the idea that, in the year 2013, the committee that chooses commencement speakers should take immutable characteristics into consideration when making its decision. Were the selection committee to choose a woman based on statistics, the implicit message would be that women are not worthy based on their achievements alone. This isn’t true, and adopting such a backward-looking attitude is dangerous.
As a student of economics — a characteristic I have chosen, not one that I can’t help — I was excited to hear that a successful entrepreneur would be coming to campus. Our University demonstrates every day that women can succeed in leadership. In addition to University President Mary Sue Coleman, female leaders from the next provost, Martha Pollack, to University of Michigan Health System CEO Ora Pescovitz serve in important roles across campus. Ignoring this and continuing to view the world in terms of gender and other classifications will do more to set back the advancements women have made over the years than it will to further their cause.
Nicole Miller is an LSA senior.