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Working women in Germany

Ingebjørg Jørgine Johanna Hestvik ingebjoh at james.stud.unit.no
Fri Jun 7 16:13:00 EST 1996

Dougherty, Er.,DE,Diagnostics wrote:
> As an American working in Germany, I can whole-heartedly agree with the
> women who have posted here about the difficulties of combining career and
> children in Germany. When I first came here two years ago, I found the
> attitudes almost impossible to believe! Meanwhile, I'm getting used to them.
> It has been hard to walk the fine line of living and working in a foreign
> culture and not wanting to expect it to be like it is at home; on the other
> hand, I don't just want to accept comments and attitudes that I think are
> inappropriate.
>     I would appreciate anyone's advice on how to answer the following:
> 1. People who think it is "abandoning your children" if you work while they
> are young

I have been following this discussion for a while. 

I live in Norway and have three 
children, 3, 6 and 8 years old. I am a student in marin biology on 
the M.Sc-level, and as you can see, I started when the second was 
very young. Of course its a lot of problems with daycare and money
and all that, but the most important is the attitudes you meet. Not 
necesarily from your collegues and supervisors, but also in the family, 
which often has a greater influence on your choices.
And what they will say is that you are "abandoning your children" as
you say. 

What I use to say is that my children has a big family living 
in the same town, they have lots of good friends in kindergarten 
and school,and as a student I have the possibility to take som 
time off in difficult times.

And they have a happy mother!  But then I get home at 16.30 every day, 
which might 
be early compared to students in other nations? I would like to know what is 
the most common length of the working day outside of Norway.

> 2. Interview question (absolutely standard here) about how you plan to raise
> your family while working full-time. The implication here is that it is
> impossible to do this without harming your family or your work.

If you manage to finish your grades with the same score as other students without children, then
it should not be a problem further on.

Ingebjørg Hestvik  Utlerveien 35 D  7033 TRONDHEIM  Telefon 7393-1511

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