Today I talked informally with some women grad students (not my own), most from other universities. Some were considering not seeking academic jobs because they wanted to have 'a life'. I asked them why they didn't think they could have a life and an academic career as well, and the answer was that they didn't know anyone who did both. Some of these schools have no women faculty or, at most, one (unmarried/childless) in our general field. So I kicked into Role Model mode, telling them about my family and demonstrating that it is entirely possible to have a family and be a science professor and to enjoy both.
I am happy to do the Role Model thing, but I'm always amazed that it is as important as it is.
6 months ago