Would part-time science help?

Linden Higgins linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon Nov 27 14:28:11 EST 1995

>>From:          "Marilyn.Walker."<Marilyn.Walker at colorado.edu>

>>As far as supporting people, it is obvious how to do that (I am
>>only for women):
>Julia Frugoli:

>I hope not-many male post-docs i know would love a postion where they
>could actually be Dad.  I think the world is changing, albeit slowly, in
>this respect.  Fewer and fewer people want their work to be their life.
>, Unfortunately, since most jobs have over 200 applicants, the one
>person who is willing to sacrifice all for the cvareer gets the job.  As
>long as there's a glut of PhD's, I don't know how we can change
>things-it's a buyer's market.  or am I too cynical?

I'll cease lurking...  On the positive side, I will say that things are
changing, if only slowly.  A very high-powered younger faculty member here,
male, is taking part-time parental leave (he has an administrative position
and cannot take full-time leave) to spend time at home.  As it becomes
acceptable for _men_ to do this, maybe we _women_ can stop pretending that
our lives begin and end with our science.  ON the other hand, we hired two
people, a man with a stay-at-home wife (and children) and a single woman.
There is no apparent difference in their abilities, but in what they are
accomplishing it is clear that it makes a major difference if there is
someone else to take care of daily life, even without children!  And if few
of us have technician-husbands, how many fewer have househusbands (or even
want one).

Julia also said:
Trouble is, even if all the interviewees but one are women, if you can't
offer a job to their academic husband as well they often won't come and
once again the one man on the interview list gets hired, because his
wife is willing to work as technician.  Very few men want to be their
wife's technician.

This is true.  If it is widely known that you are married to or otherwise
have a significant academic other, male or female, it is also advisable to
put some clause into your cover letter stating that you would not reject a
job based on the inability of your companion to find a job
_in_the_immediate_future.  Such a clause was important in my getting an
interview last year.  Although I didn't get the job, they were interested
in my spouse, and would have tried to make some accomodations.  Obviously
it is, or should be, clear that such arrangements need to be made sooner
rather than later.  Perhaps time frames can be brought up during
negotiations after an offer has been made?  Advise from those who have
succesfully or not-so-succesfully managed this transition?

On the original topic, wouldn't it be best if we could all get .75 time?
Then we'd only have to work 40 hr weeks!


Linden Higgins, Ph.D.
Dept. of Zoology,
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX  78712
linden at mail.utexas.edu

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