Women in academia

After blogging about the trend for couples to live separately in academia, I have now seen two further articles regarding life-work balances within the industry.

First is  What the Dr Ordered by Beryl Leiff Benderly stating that having children is the main cause for women’s under representation in Science academia.  largely because the next few years is the time when, as an aspiring academic, I should be completing my PhD and carrying out post docs in order secure a permanent position; however this is also the period in most women’s lives when children are a) possible and b) desirable.  Academia has been slow compared to many other industries to adapt to familial responsibilities, which are often still largely the women’s responsibility.

Secondly is a slightly more upbeat article Fix the under-representation of women in science, says RSC’s first female President from the RSC.  Lesley Yellowlees, the RSC president, has given evidence to the Royal Society of Edinburgh which has released a recommendation for new initiatives in order to block the leak of women from STEM subjects.  It is pleasing to see that this is not only in the interests of representation, but could be worth a staggering £2billion to the UK industry.

I am very fortunate to be in a group which is actually predominantly females, including two senior members with children.  I haven’t made any decisions about children, however being able to watch role models cope with the balancing act will only make any decision in the future more informed.  Lets hope it’s a sign of the changes.


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