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  •  Work life balance (2+ / 0-)
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    Question Authority, Norbrook

    is going to be easiest for them to achieve at a up and coming institution that's building new programs and doesn't have an entrenched institutional culture.

    First off, I think science is a pursuit that's inherently difficult for work-life balance because you have to keep up on new developments constantly, and taking a year or two off unavoidably makes you less competitive.  Men in academia tend to have stay-at-home wives which neatly solves the problem for them.  I've known a few female academics with stay-at-home husbands and those families seem to manage pretty well, as do my married students who have a live-in grandma so they can get work done.  Someone else in the family has to take on the home front so the scientist can keep current on the field and that's just the way it is.  It's just that in the broader culture, stay at home dad situations haven't been widely accepted until recently, and Americans don't do multi-generation families so much.

    I took a risk on taking a job in a totally new program at a state university that is not the flagship.  We all work sensible hours, our department is 50% female, we have an institutional culture that is pretty supportive of families.  It's completely different from the last place I worked at, which was an old-boy-infested, football obsessed ag/engineering school.  The women I work with here are pretty happy and balanced.  The women I worked with at my previous employer were harried and oppressed, and most of my female peers left for friendlier climates while I worked there.

    Of course, we're not Harvard.  But I'm paid about half again as much as I was at Old Boy U, and half again as much as I would have been offered at some fancier places where I interviewed, and if I were of a mind to have kids I could take copious leave.

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