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What makes a good 'climate' for women in science?

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Fri Jun 7 19:55:12 EST 1996

Sarah L. Pallas (spallas at bcm.tmc.edu) wrote:
: I'm going to start a new topic here and hopefully jazz up this group. 
: I've had the feeling in some places I've worked that the environment was
: distinctly unfriendly toward women students/faculty, but often it's hard
: to put a finger on exactly what could be done to improve the situation. 
: In other words, if you had a sympathetic chair who wanted to improve
: things, what would you ask her/him to do?  Let's make a wish list. 
: Here's my suggestions, please add yours:

: 3.  Family friendly policies.  This should work in favor of male parents
: as well as female ones.

Under this heading, I would suggest that seminars not be scheduled late in
the workday or in the evenings, so that both men and women with kids don't
have to simply miss these events or hire babysitters if they want to
attend. Here at the Hutch, we have a division-wide, weekly seminar from
5-6 pm on Mondays. At 5:30 each Monday, about 20 people in the audience
get up and leave midway through the talk so that they can go pick up their
kids from daycare (most daycare centers in our area close at 6:00 pm).
I have even heard of one department at another institution that has its
seminars at 8 pm. Here, we have monthly city-wide special interest
meetings in the evenings, e.g. one on yeast, one on mouse, etc. Since I
like to attend one of these, I must hire a babysitter each month just so I
can be present.


Megan Brown
mbrown at fred.fhcrc.org
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

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