Women’s Faculty Gatherings…

We have a women’s faculty lunch once a week. This doesn’t include all of the women faculty- obviously- this is a large university, its 5-10 women faculty at all career stages in the biological sciences. We cross 3 departments (not including joint appointments), and know each other pretty well. This lunch is a great venue for support, both moral and scientific, learning the workings of the university, and hearing all the inside news and gossip (and don’t kid yourself, the male faculty do this too- only they do it while drinking beer or playing squash) … who is on the job market, who is being considered for positions in various departments… I love having this support network, it’s so helpful to have women in different stages of their career gather and share information about how ‘the system’ works. This event made me feel a lot less lonely when I was the only tenure-track woman in my department.

But, in many ways I am alone despite this excellent support group. I am the only person in this group with two kids, the only person in this group that didn’t wait for tenure to have children, the only person with 2 kids and a spouse who is also a faculty member… So while the lunch is awesome, I often feel like my experience is so different from the rest and there are a lot of areas where I need guidance but I am completely alone. There is just a void among junior faculty in biological sciences here who are balancing the competing interests of academic science, children, and a partner with a demanding career as well…


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