I’m back again. Can’t believe its been five years since completing my phd. You can all do it! Believe me! Superhard, but yes you can. I couldn’t have made it without being part of this forum. I have since joined academia and I am now at senior lecturer level. Teaching has been something else, after focusing on one topic for the six years it took me to complete my PhD (yikes! It still haunts me!) , the teaching world is a different cup of tea. For instance, tomorrow I have a class at 10am and have no idea what I will be telling them. Random allocation of subjects am not interested in but now am kinda used to it. One ends up teaching so much new stuff that one never really gets to publish original work. After three years, I didn’t quite like it so I decided to try industry: never again! Didn’t last the probation period! I didn’t realise there is so much politics in the workplace til I moved to industry. Politics in academia is somewhat bearable because – in social sciences – we don’t work that closely together. So… currently I am being undermined at work. Not getting any admin position and no academic progression either. The former I can do nothing about because I have never been a boot-licker. But maybe there is something I can do about the latter. My goal is to publish as many papers as possible so that in two years I can leave that annoying job by being appointed an Associate Professor somewhere. Age - I’m 34. Where does time go? Not married – but will be getting married soon. Starting a family is also on the cards… Gender – Female. My experience as a woman is that there isn’t an equal playing field for us. Society just takes, takes, and takes from you. We get little support be it on the home-front or at work. It is easier for the guys to progress at work because they get a lot done for them – dinner, laundry, baby-sitting - all they have to do is focus. I do not want to give up on my dream of being at the top of my field because of working in an unsupportive environment. I have come back here to look for support from academics, especially female academics, mature students and those writing up. We can encourage one another by cheering each other on, holding each other accountable and sharing the wisdom we’ve gathered along the way. Lets do this!
It's a shame you've had such negative, aggressive responses here, jojo. I don't have the time or inclination to engage with these arguments yet again, except to say that it's clearly documented that there isn't a level playing field, and this is why we have initiatives like Athena Swan (which I understand, from talking to academics, isn't making much difference yet). Anyway, to go back to the point of your post, and if you're still around, happy to take part in a supportive thread.
Agreeing with chickpea here, full support to you jojo!
It's great to hear of women getting ahead in science. Dunham and pm133 clearly have no idea of the reality for working women, supportive partner or not. Guess they have missed the stats where women only make up 30% of professors.
There's usually plenty of encouragement to be found here jojo so don't be discouraged.
Smileys don't counter negative or aggressive comments Dunham. If you don't want to come across as negative or aggressive, maybe you shouldn't write negative or aggressive comments.
Let's reevaluate the stats in 20-30 years then. I bet they are similar. Yes there are a lot of older male professors, but take a look at the stats for women getting permanent academic positions after a postdoc - they are similarly at 30% so there is already a reduced pipeline for potential professors.
It shouldn't be man faces women, but it is. The fact is many women have to make the choice between career and family and most men don't.
It's not always that easy Dunham. Sometimes other factors have to be considered when making choices. For example, could I, as a single woman, take a job hundreds of miles away from home and raise a child? Highly unlikely isn't it? How would I afford child care full time on a postdoc salary? How can I breast feed adequately if I'm supposed to be working full time? It's not as easy to say just find a man who is happy to take over child care responsibilities to enable a woman to focus on a career.
The difference is that women are more likely than men to go ahead and have a child alone, particularly due to age limitations. So sure, the same things can apply to single dads, it's just there are far fewer of them.
And I disagree on the career thing too. I think it's possible for a woman to have a full time career and a child. The problem is this is near impossible in science, mainly because of the need to relocate, extended working hours, conferences etc. It's one of the, if not the, main reason women leave science.
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