Woman's place

November 18, 1994

The question of whether attempts should be made to accommodate academic spouses (THES, November 18) when making appointments is difficult. Your academic couples were examples where both members succeeded in obtaining positions in the same geographical area. They were fortunate. In my experience the most common reason for women to give up academic careers is that they fail to find a permanent position in the same location as their husbands.

This is often because there is nothing available at the time rather than that they are not sufficiently well qualified. There are quite strong arguments against making special arrangements, but the lack of such a policy leads directly to the lack of women in senior academic positions that they so rightly deplore.

R. M. LYNDEN-BELL, Storey's Way, Cambridge.

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