Mothers working in science have a tough job – juggling the demands of a career and looking after family. A recent study published in Nature found that in the United States “more than 40% of women with full-time jobs in science leave the sector or go part time after having their first child”. This week in #TakeActionTuesday the focus is all about supporting mothers in science. How can you help those around you?
First look after yourself – self-care is not a luxury, you work better and will be more able to support your family and colleagues if you are rested and healthy. So, I challenge you to set aside 10 minutes for yourself each day, to walk, read a book, or call a friend. 10 minutes is doable, even if you are being pulled in all directions at work and home.
Now, check out and spread the word about www.akidemiclife.com – this free, online resource hub is full of ideas, interviews and inspiration for parents and carers working in research and academia. The aKIDemic Life community is there to ensure every carer working in academia knows they are not alone.
Supporting each other is one thing, but it is also essential to work on structural change to remove the barriers women face in academia. Even those organisations that want to create an enabling culture may be unclear how current policies hinder the mothers that make up their workforce. Take action by organising a panel event at your organisation, inviting both scientist mother and fathers and representatives from HR and senior management to help decision-makers understand your needs! If organising this type of event for your whole organisation seems overwhelming, start with your department or faculty, or begin with an informal discussion over morning coffee.
This Take Action Tuesday was put together by Kirsty Nash of aKIDemic life.