moving around/climate for women

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Thu Jun 20 11:37:56 EST 1996

guenzel at wrote:
: On 14 Jun 1996 00:52:47 GMT, Barb Lewis wrote:
: >Absolutely!  Do a survey of the scientists you know at a given level. See
: >how men and women compare in their choices of spouses.

: Another point (at least here in Germany) is, that husbands still tend to 
: be older than their wives and therefore are in better paid/tenured/etc. 
: positions. Many couples/families would therefore either have to give 
: up such a position or to live several hundred miles apart to allow the 
: woman to do her PostDoc. Most women don't want to take such a risk, maybe 
: they feel that if it didn't work out well it would all be their fault.
: This is probably a major reason why many woman drop out of research after 
: doing their PhD.

Thanks for contributing to this discussion. It is very interesting to hear
the situation in countries besides the U.S. Now could you tell us what all
those women in Germany do who drop out of research after their PhDs? Do
they teach? Do they work at Biotech companies? Do they do something
totally unrelated to biological science, e.g. work in the computer
industry? Are many of them unemployed? Or fulltime mothers?

Anyone from France out there? I heard a while ago that the way the French
Universities choose their professors is through a sort of central
application procedure, where all the openings at all French universities
are processed through a central ministry that matches up those looking
for professorships with the available slots that year. The top candidates
(judged by whom, I'm not sure) are assigned the available jobs. These
lucky ones go to the university to which they are assigned. There is no
choice of what university to go to or what city or any opportunity to have
more than one offer to choose from. The candidates don't even
interview at the university they will be working at. Whether your spouse
can find a job in the designated city certainly never enters into the
equation. So even more so in France than in the U.S., having a portable
spouse is essential for academic career advancement. This system makes all
the "family-unfriendly" policies in the U.S. that have been discussed here 
seem quite friendly by comparison. I would appreciate comments from French
readers to verify or correct what I have heard. I have also heard that
these policies are not the case at French government research institutes
such as CNRS.



Megan Brown
mbrown at
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

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