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Monday, January 24, 2005

A fight for the prize

The verbal joust that has spurred several 900-word essays from researches on the sensitive topic of 80-hour work weeks has jumped over to Geeky Mom. I've been posting there as well as here, and I wanted to include my latest response here:
The whole idea of talking about women and mothering and career is not to say that one person or one way is right and all other choices are wrong.

I'm not saying that I want to be a top research scientist (even if I wanted to, it's not gonna happen), or the CEO of a big firm, or a high-powered attorney. My point is that I've seen so many talented women (who are also mothers) be pushed away from their jobs because no flexibility has been offered.

And as bitchitude pointed out, yes we all chose to have kids, but that shouldn't make us lepers in the business or academic world. The definition of successful is going to be different to everyone. Vera says, "nothing makes me feel worse than having to drop to part time research during the school year when I'm doing homework more than full time." So to Ben, Vera, and others may think that part-time work or research is the pits, it might not be for you. But I know that there are lots of amazingly talented people who could produce noteworthy results in controlled amounts of time if given the opportunity.

The best part would be that they are still contributing *and* getting the opportunity to be with their kids. No Nobel prize may be in their futures, but sometimes the greatest prize is one that comes from within.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, as one of those 900 word first draft essay writers, I can't keep up with this thread on a Monday morning - I'm going to call a graceful exit with a few last words to think about...

    Regardless if any of us (male or female, mother or father)realizes it, we are all on the same page; to accomplish our own goals without interference, to raise families in the way we feel is best, to succeed in life as we best see fit, and to be afforded fair opportunities to do so.

    While we may all disagree on the finer points of how to facilitate that, we all have the same drive to succeed in our given fields and this is clearly evidence of 'to each his/her own' in respect to accomplishing that.

    I have to say this has been a thread with much fodder for thought, and we could all stand to step back and reread many of the key points - there are in fact many valid concerns each poster has shared.