Continuing with our focus on the #SciMomJourney for International Women’s Month, today we want to talk about parental leave and steps we can take to enact change.
Changing large academic institutions is hard, but change may be easier to acquire if the two largest granting agencies would allow grant funding to provide even 6-8 weeks of paid time off to have a baby. The family initiatives offered by both agencies are largely inadequate and not enough, but any change at this level will affect every institution that receives grant funding in the US. Sign our letter to Dr. Francis Collins (NIH Director) and to Dr. Cordova (@NSF). We will be collecting signatures for the remainder of March. We will then mail the letter out the first week of April.
Paid Leave Bills have support around the country, but that does not mean they are guaranteed to pass. Over a dozen states are considering paid leave legislation this year and both parties have proposed paid leave plans at the federal level. If your state is considering a paid leave bill (looking at you MT, VT, NH, NE, CT, HI, CO, MN, WI, OR, MO, DE, IL, NM) get in touch with your legislators and let them know your experience and what this would mean to your career!
Even if you don’t need paid leave, find out what your campus/workspace offers. Have you had students or coworkers who need more support? Reach out and let us know if your workplace is not doing enough so we can advocate! (our email is always open firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are part of a 500 Women Scientist Pod, send a message to your members that children are welcome at meetings. Read our How-To Guide on how to make your Pod more family friendly.
(Today’s action was put together by our members: Emma Kate Loveday, Tanya Dapkey and JoEllen McBride)