Michelle Sierp msierp at
Tue Oct 27 10:56:55 EST 1992

To all women out there, I believe that if you want to have children you>
shouldn't let anything stop you. I find that remark about " the unproductive>
year in your postdoc" to be absolutely downgrading, and in Australia at least>
questions like that are not allowed in interviews. I had my two children at  >
the ages of 25 and 27 while I held a research officer position at a university.
I plan to study for my PhD next year and after that I would dearly love to > "
have two more children!! Maybe, at least one more. But my point is if you
want children, do it,and don't let anyone put you down about it.I know of a
couple of women here who have had children in their first or second year of
their postdoc. No-one has looked down on them as if they have betrayed the
workforce or anything. To me, it's the most obvious and natural thing to
happen. Like me they have fantastic grandparents or good childcare
arrangements and they're back at work after 3-6 months.
As for parenting, I don't believe that my children are missing out on anything
just the opposite they have a much more extended family than I ever knew and
I think they are the better for it. It does help to have a flexible workplace
for such little crises that pop up now and then, e.g. trips to the childrens
hospital. Most workplaces should have flexible hours, special leave (with or
without pay) and so on to cope with anything that should arise.
SO, have I convinced you to at least think some more on the subject? I hope so.
Michelle Sierp
msierp at


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