Publish or Perish

posted
26-Jun-16, 18:32
by jojo
Avatar for jojo
posted about 4 years ago
Hi lovelies,
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!
posted
26-Jun-16, 19:46
edited about 23 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From jojo:
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!


No offense but dinner, laundry, babysitting.... we are not living in the 50s anymore. If you got yourself a lazy husband/boyfriend that can't cook, can't change a diaper or does nothing around the house, that's kind of you fault ;) The couples I know share these tasks. To quote my female boss "There's never been a better time for women in science". I can't speak for the UK but in several European countries, they desperately try to increase the amount of female professors. At my institution, every single Assistant professor that was assigned in the last years was female, almost every job ad has the additional sentence "University/Company X wants to increase the amount of women and therefore especially encourages them to apply" and at least for my University I know that when equally qualified, the woman usually gets the job. I am pretty sure that my University is no exception. I am not complaining about this, for decades men had unfair advantages and it's great that things are finally getting equal but with sentences like this

Quote From jojo:

all they have to is focus


you just undermine the work men do making it seem like no accomplishment and a simple result of the supportive environment. That's just wrong. Not all issues a woman has in the workplace are gender-based and you also do not have per se a harder life or more difficulties.

Probably not the answer you wanted to have, sorry for that, but this post kind of provoked me ;)
posted
30-Jun-16, 10:05
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 4 years ago
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.
posted
30-Jun-16, 10:56
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
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.
posted
30-Jun-16, 11:26
edited about 19 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
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.


I don't think that a post that contains at least three smileys and even a sentence that it is good that they try to make things finally equal (because there are inequalities, no arguing about that) is all negative or aggressive.

The stats usually show the overall gender ratio. They could start hiring exclusively women for a decade and the ratio would still not be 50/50 because the all-male-dinosaur-professors are not yet retired. How can one not get this? Once they are gone the stats will look different. It is like comparing the average what men earn and the average what women earn and conclude that there has to be a huge inequality. This makes no sense if you don't compare female engineer with male engineer or male admin with female admin. If you do, you will still find a wage gap, but suddenly it is 5-7% and not 20-30% like some people claim. Still something we have to work on but these exaggerations all the time are not helping anyone.

If I would have wrote passages like jojo as a man about women I would have been immediately told how I should not make unfair generalizations. For me this is typical double standard and the fact that now all female users try to defend this, without acknowledging that there might be some generalization, borders on cliche.

But it is just impossible to discuss this. Of course men have simply no idea of women in the workplace and therefore are automatically wrong. Period :D

I am apologizing in advance for every position I might get in the future as it will probably mean that a way more qualified working mom does not get the position, mostly because she has to do household and raise kids, while I outsource these tasks to my wife and continue to work or alternatively have a cold beer and watch the game. Whoever finds sarcasm can keep it :)

Makes me kind of sad to write something like that, because I am generally absolutely pro gender equality, but posts like that make it just really difficult to be understanding. This should not be men vs. women...
posted
30-Jun-16, 12:00
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
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.
posted
30-Jun-16, 12:25
edited about 2 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:


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.


Let's think a second why that is, shall we? Is it because there is a woman willing to step down for her husband and be a housewife or is it because of some magical advantages men have that somehow enable them to have a full time career and a full time family without any trade-offs?
Just stop doing that if you think it should not be that way! What are they going to do if you don't accept this antique role model?
The biggest lie told is that it would be possible to have two parents who both have a career (that word has somehow become the equivalent to a job) and still manage to be great parents. It does not work if you want to raise your kids yourself. How you organize your family is up to you. Let the wife make a career, let the husband work part time and in case of a divorce, she pays him for missed career opportunities and not the other way around. Personally, I have no problem with that. There are tons of guys who are not even keen on a career and the competition at the work place. You just have to find a wife that is willing to accept that as well. For some reason most of my female friends look for a rather succesful guy that earns at least as much as they do and are not keen on financing a houseman. But that might be just my friends.

About the professors: Let's talk in 20-30 years. Women have better grades in school, there are more women studying than men and as I said, most universities have already a women's quota and are obliged to hire female professors. I highly doubt that there will be no changes as the changes are already clearly visible. Every professor will confirm this. Just give it some time.
posted
30-Jun-16, 13:29
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
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.
posted
30-Jun-16, 14:09
edited about 7 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
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?


Can you do that as a man (assuming that a man would get full custody of his kid)? I don't see the difference.

Quote From TreeofLife:

How would I afford child care full time on a postdoc salary?


How would I do that as a man? Or are you earning less as a female Post Doc?

Quote From TreeofLife:

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.


Well, you can maybe use a milk pump. Of course there are biological differences that we can't do anything about but is this really a point held against men or for inequality?

Most of the things people describe for single mothers applies to single dads. Employers are not keen on hiring single dads either. No employer is keen on hiring someone that causes inconveniences if that can be avoided. I really don't see where this advantage of men is (in these specific cases). The only reason why it was easier for them in the past is that their wives covered for them. Once they are not willing to do that anymore, everyone is in the same boat. We just have to accept that we can't have it all. Career ( for me not "just" working, but climbing up the career ladder over time) and family don't work together and people who say they do usually have someone who helps quite a lot (grand parents, partner who does not work fulltime, nanny, whatever)
posted
30-Jun-16, 15:18
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
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.
posted
30-Jun-16, 15:42
edited about 9 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
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.


Because a man usually has no chance to get full custody for his kids in court, unless the mother is a drug addict. No matter what you want, the best you get is usually every other weekend because it is generally assumed to be the best for the child to be with the mother most of the time (but some will now probably argue that this is only because they don't care about their kids ;) )

Quote From TreeofLife:

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.


Sure it is. But with trade-offs. If you think just science is a problem, try getting a day off or home office every other week in a normal company because one of your kids get sick, or there is a school excursion you have to join once in a while, kids have to go to the doctor, daycare is closed and so on. I am not saying that this is not possible but for most people it is possible because there are other people in the background helping out. My mom also worked 70% or so and we spent quite some time with the grand parents. Not sure if they would have managed as well as they did without them. It is just easier if one partner has some more time or a job where he/she is a bit more flexible. You are not flexible in responsible positions that are considered as a career.

I think the main reason women leave science is the same reason men leave science. There is just no perspective and most people don't want that risk. Besides relocation every two years and a conference from time to time it is much more flexible than any company job. Most bosses (if they are not assholes) don't care when you do your work as long as you do it. We have several post docs with kids (1-3 years old). If they are sick, they write at home or catch up with literature, data analysis and so on. That is way more difficult in a company that has fixed hours and expects you to be there.
posted
01-Jul-16, 09:38
edited about 40 seconds later
by AbiFAU
Avatar for AbiFAU
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From jojo:
Hi lovelies,
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.

Quote From jojo:
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!


Hi All,

Jojo started and ended this feed with a positive message, lets try and keep the comments on here positive and supportive please!

Thanks very much,
Abi
posted
01-Jul-16, 10:44
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From chickpea:
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).


Of course Athena Swan isn't making much difference.
That's because what the original poster is describing isn't sexism in the workplace. If it is sexism at all it's sexism in the home.
Athena Swan answers the wrong question and really the lack of a difference should be telling people that.
posted
01-Jul-16, 10:45
edited about 17 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From AbiFAU:
Quote From jojo:
Hi lovelies,
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.

Quote From jojo:
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!


Hi All,

Jojo started and ended this feed with a positive message, lets try and keep the comments on here positive and supportive please!

Thanks very much,
Abi


In what way is the following sentence from the original poster supportive or positive? ". 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."
posted
01-Jul-16, 10:49
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
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.


You could easily say exactly the same thing about a single man raising a child.

All I am trying to say is that this isn't about sexism. It's about the difficulty of raising a child and succeeding in your profession.
This is an issue that affects both men and women.
I may not be a woman, as you indicated above, but I am a parent of 3 children and I know exactly what it feels like to have to make choices between career and family.
Please don't assume that men have an easy job of this.

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