Been there, done that.

After six years of grad school, there are a few things I've picked up from personal experience and a whole lot of time talking with other female grad students (AKA procrastinating). I've always wished there had been some kind of handbook about how to handle the whole world of graduate school, so I figured I'd start a friendly place to discuss what it's like to be female in grad school, and maybe pass on some wisdom too!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why Babies Matter

Those of you in the Davis area may have heard about the seminar that was held yesterday regarding motherhood in academics, given by Mary Ann Mason, with the same title as this post. (The staff only send out, like, twenty emails about it...) I snuck out of the lab to attend. While the conference was okay, and I enjoyed the statistics, it didn't go into a whole lot of what women can do to find a balance between professional and home life. Mainly, it was a demonstration of where the "leaks in the pipeline" were in terms of where women are lost to the academic world. For PhD's in general, the number awarded is nearly 50/50 in terms of males and females, but the percentage of males as tenured professors is 75%. Females are much more likely to take non-tenure teaching positions, if anything. Most of this seems pretty "duh" to me--not that it's not interesting, but it's just something I've noticed in the departments I have contact with. I mean, it's not easy trying to figure out how to have kids and be a scientist/professional. There are only so many hours in the day!

Anyhow, I picked up the book written by the speaker Mothers On The Fast Track, which I'm hoping might shed some more light on the issue. We'll see. I may post on it again, which is why I'm bringing it up here.

Also, I thought I'd throw another questions out there. How do YOU plan on doing the whole balancing act? Is it possible? Can it be done successfully (as in, happy healthy marriages and children)? Honestly, shade your wisdom for us all! And I'm not just talking about careers--grad school, too, of course!


  1. I've been procrastinating procreation for a good long while now. "Maybe after the bar...Maybe after I've had a year of work under my belt...Maybe when we're out of debt..." I have an endless supply of excuses!!! It's amazing. But let's be honest, I have no intention of quitting my job if I have a kid, so to my mind, I'd essentially be having a kid and giving it to someone else to raise. That idea rankles me. I too would be interested to know how to be a career-minded professional and a mother without being mediocre at one or the other, but I'm not sure anyone has the answer to that.

  2. If only my excuses were endless--we've almost hit the end of them, and still don't have jobs... Seriously, one of us needs to figure this all out!