I just wanted to quickly point out a really excellent essay that does a killer job deconstructing and exploring the (sometimes stealthy) role that "privilege" has in creating disparities between folks. The essay, titled "Sacrificing Privilege" and hosted at Skepchick, is a clear and well-written exploration of how a "privileged" status, defined on the basis of race, gender, or what-have-you, can serve as the basis of a pervasive and potentially "invisible" culture of bias.
This is an extremely important message that we in the sciences (and especially the Earth Sciences) NEED to understand if we ever want to get away from the "(White) Boys' Club" that defines so many fields. As discussed here in a previous post, Geology has a real problem with regards to gender; understanding and working to eliminate the (often hidden) cultural biases that make it hard for women and minorities to find a home in the sciences is the only way that we'll ever get better. So everyone read the essay linked above! It's long, but well worth the time!