Kids and careers

June 11, 1999

Your column and Helen Hague's report ("9.2 per cent of professors are womenI" THES, June 4) replicates information women across the United Kingdom live with each day. We are discriminated against, carry professional and domestic responsibilities and often get saddled with lower status roles and salaries to match such depths.

What we need to hear is more of the strategies women adopt to survive in this system. My research suggests that women often hide the fact they have children to make sure their academic careers are undamaged. From personal experience of hiding five children, I can attest that this causes multiple stresses.

The articles show that "all the anecdotal evidence is that big families and academic success do not seem to mix", but what we need is to hear not just the negative giveaways about childlessness and empty choices. Rather let's hear it from "girls" who have families, are successful academics and publish in leading journals.

Danusia Malina

Senior lecturer (under 40) Mother to Fred (18), George (16), Jack (15), Tom (13) Harriet (7)

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