Child care in the scientific workpalce

sandra burridge burridge at pacbell.net
Sun Mar 5 06:08:07 EST 2000


As a recent addition to the US and the bay area I am now settling down with
my husband and starting my career as a scientist in the biotech industry.
Coming from the UK I was disappointed to find the terrible maternity leave
here as I previously mentioned to this group. Do any companies provide their
own day care?. In the UK it is a popular option for many companies, use a
room/area in their building, hire a few nannies and offer the employees a
special rate for daycare. I recently have interviewed at two companies and
on both occasions the women I spoke to who were employed as senior
scientists and managerial levels did not have children. I also know of a
woman who has recently returned to work after her 3 months leave and has to
leave at 5pm to pick up her child. I think that companies who do not provide
on site child care should consider it. I would gladly return to full time
work if I could drop my child off, visit at lunchtime for a feed and work
till 6-7pm if I needed to especially if you are still nursing after 3
months.
I feel that I might be made to choose between my career and my family, my
career will suffer if I cannot put in the hours and effort that my fellow
male scientists do. Other options include taking turns with your partner in
picking up children, is this really a practical solution or does is lead to
whose turn is it, and I know it's my turn but I have to do this experiment?
I think this issue also extends to academic sites. I know UCSF here in San
Francisco has day care but I have been told it closes at 6pm and is so
heavily over subscribed that none of my UCSF colleagues were able to place
children there. I cannot begin to imagine the situation for single mothers.
Please share your experiences of working and raising children and if you
feel you can achieve the same heights with or without a family. Would we
choose a job if they provided on-site child care from 8am-8pm at a
subsidized rate?, this would be enough reason for me to reject one company
over another. On-site fitness centers seem to be a priority for these
companies yet the thing that may boost morale and productivity for what
hopefully will be 50% of the workforce is sadly over-looked.

Sandra






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