Friday, May 23, 2008

More bits and bobs

A lady scientist led me to stirrup queen's comment marathon, and I think its great! I've made a diligent effort to list on the blogs I read, but admit to not delurking from many of them. This will force me to introduce myself to a whole cast of bloggers and in the process hopefully I will get to know few more of you. I will give myself till after the 28th to start though, as I really should not be adding to my procrastination enabling tool box.

I was at the park the other day when a friends son starting hitting the monkey. Monkey gets beat up on a regular basis by my niece, and I don't interfere because I want monkey to learn to interact with his peer group. However at the same time if he was hitting another kid, I would stop him to teach him that it is not appropriate behaviour. Why is it okay for me to interfere when he's being bad but yet not to want other moms to correct their kids? How do you find the balance between correcting behaviour and encouraging them to stand up for themselves??

Yet another depressing report about women leaving science, this time leaving industry for a variety of reasons, including lack of life / work balance and a macho culture. I heard about this article from a yahoo story sent to me by Mr. SM. He read the article and thought, my wife has been making this point to me all year, wow she was right and they are finally listening. I love Mr. SM for being all optimistic for thinking hey they're listening and doing something about it. But thats not how I read the article. I think some companies are recognizing the challenges and embracing policies the address the concerns, but what stuck out the most to me was that major companies were not looking at the root of the problem and trying to establish HR policies that would enable highly intelligent, well-trained women to not have to choose between family and work, but were instead lobbying the US congress to enable more foreign males / females to come in. I will say more foreign trained women will also be coming, but both genders will be making significant sacrifices to come to a "better country". They will be leaving husbands/wives, children and extended support system to come to the US (and / or Canada as I am sure we are facing similar challenges) with the hopes of gaining citizenship. I have seen the emotional toll its has taken on these individuals and its not right. Here in Canada, there have been numerous studies done in the Filipino community examining the challenges faced by the women who left there homeland (and children) to care for anothers' family. I am sure these challenges and repercussions are felt regardless of skill level. Work - Life balance is a gender neutral issue, my own PI is failing amazingly at balancing after meeting a women, falling in love and having a child. Its great because he recognizes why I'm struggling but it sucks because why do we expect such crazy long hours?


Katie said...

Arriving via NaComLeavMo...
Anyway I find what you're writing really interesting, I'm a trainee science teacher, most of my frineds are doing or are about to finish science degree. With one exception the women are all off to other careers, the men are staying and doing research. Maybe there is just something in our genetic make up that means that most women don't find the lifestyle appealing?

Don't get me started on the balance of men/women in areas like physics.... though I'm not one to talk, I picked to do Biology over Physics!

DC said...

I love your comments about women leaving science; the legal profession has the same problem (especially in large law firms).

Glad I found your blog (thanks to the Stirrup Queens)! I just started blogging yesterday (just in time for NaComLeavMo!), so please stop by and say hello if you get a chance. :)

Amanda said...

Hi! I found you through a combination of NaComLeavMo and ego-surfing (I looked at technorati to see who had linked to my blog). So thanks for the link :-)

I think that the unreasonable hours and the lack of accommodation for women are the biggest factors facing science right now. Academia and industry are cutting out 50% of there work force just because they refuse to allow people to have lives outside.

I have to disagree with Katie about the genetic makeup (no offense... just a differing of opinion). I think it has more to do with it being expected (at least in this society) that women take care of the kids/family while men do not feel that pressure. Additionally, the idea of the necessity of choosing between family and career is (mostly) only seen that way by women; men do not feel that there has to be a choice (i.e. they can have both and do well at both, whereas women see it as an either/or). At least that's what I've found in my program so far.

Sorry about this being so long! I guess this just hit a chord with me!

DC said...

Just wanted to say thank you so much for stopping by to say hello. I hope we can keep in touch!!

In Due Time said...

Coming over from NCLM.. looking forward to reading your blog on a regular basis.. :-)

baby~amore' said...

I here from NaComLeavCom

I have 22month old twin boys and I tread that delicate balance between jumping up and down every 5 sec because they are fighting over a toy and/or whacking each other with it and being consistent by teaching them appropriate behaviour.

Also, to teach them to sort out their own battles.Otherwise it is going to be a long day every day...

I 'aim' to teach them to say themselves - "stop hitting me I don't like it" -

In the park I would say it loudly enough that the other mum hears.

Then it's up to them to intervene or discipline little smacker then or later.

" Monkey ... tell *insert name of friend* you don't like being hit - tell him to stop "

It was how our preschool taught the children.The child said it to his peer.It worked.

If it escalated they interfered of course or if the child was littler.

I chose biology over physics & chem istry too ... Nursing actually.

My Little Drummer boys

hopeful #1 said...

Here from NCLM, commenting frinzy in effect... =) Happy blogging!

Drugmonkey said...

"beat up"? oi.

I'm with baby amore. Dunno what age you are talking but toddler-preschool it seems appropriate to both model the behavior, enforce it in your own and do a little loud hinting to the oblivio-parent.

I think it was only once or twice that I found that matters were best resolved by letting Eldest "beat up" some incredibly poorly behaved kid...