Steinberg Talk


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Steinberg Talk

  1. 1. Juggling Job and Family: Balancing Home Life and Careers <ul><li>Susan Steinberg, MD Columbia University </li></ul>
  2. 2. THINGS THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE ALONG THE WAY <ul><li>Being an MIT coed – growing up as one of the guys. </li></ul><ul><li>Attending Harvard Medical School. </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Residency and having a child. </li></ul><ul><li>Taking a year off. </li></ul>
  3. 3. THINGS THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE ALONG THE WAY <ul><li>- Having a mentor in my department – someone to run interference in my institution. </li></ul><ul><li>Having a supportive husband </li></ul><ul><li>Having a ‘wife’ – the same housekeeper for the last 19 years </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing ‘what I wanted to do when I grow up’. </li></ul>
  4. 4. LESSONS LEARNED Prioritize Plan ahead – when possible, avoid crisis intervention Multitask Set realistic goals Compartmentalize Lose the guilt Keep your sense of humor Find balance
  5. 5. WHAT CAN OUR DAUGHTERS EXPECT? SANDY YULKE – PRESIDENT MIT ALUMNÆ ASSOCIATION SPRING 2006 What I hear is that the world for MIT women is (still) not the same as for men. For some time, we were encouraged to believe that all we had to do was to increase the numbers of women and that would be sufficient to change the landscape. But after more than 30 years of such increases, it is clear that this alone, is not enough. Women are not reaching positions in basic and applied sciences in the anticipated numbers. It’s not just a pipeline issue.
  6. 6. Shirley M. Tilghman a molecular biologist, mother of two and Princeton's president “universities should do a great deal more to create an environment that legitimizes the choice to be a scientist and have a family. The first step, she said, is to recognize, 'It's day care, stupid!''' Princeton offers one-year tenure extensions for each child, men and women. Princeton found that men were more likely to take advantage of the tenure extension than women, who were afraid that requesting the extra year would be interpreted as a sign of weakness or lack of confidence. WHAT CAN OUR DAUGHTERS EXPECT? THE MESSAGES FROM CURRENT ROLE MODELS Nancy Hopkins – the woman who forced MIT to take a hard and honest look at the question of gender equity (for salary, teaching load, and representation on influential University committees). Nancy Hopkins was quoted in the NY Times as saying that she viewed success in her career at MIT (or a similar elite research university) incompatible with having children.
  7. 7. Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood There has recently been a spate of news and opinion articles telling us that women, especially graduates of the best universities and professional schools, are &quot;opting out&quot; in record numbers, choosing the comforts of home and family over careers. Stretched to Limit, Women Stall March to Work For four decades, the number of women entering the workplace grew at a blistering pace. But the growth in the percentage of adult women working outside the home has stalled and even slipped since the mid-1990's. Are mothers deciding that they prefer to stay at home and take care of their children? The broad reconfiguration of women's lives that allowed most of them to pursue jobs outside the home appears to be hitting some serious limits. Since the 1960's, women have extracted more time from every nook and cranny of the day. They married later, had fewer children, and paid others to help handle household work. Mothers with children at home gained the time for outside work by taking it from other parts of their day – they sleep less (3.6 fewer hours than mothers not employed outside the home) – and have stretched life to the breaking point. The research suggests that they may have hit a wall in the amount of work that they can pack into a week. A former Silicon Valley business executive pines to go back to work, but she has not figured out how to mesh work with caring for her three daughters. ''Most of us thought we would work and have kids, no problem. But really we were kind of duped. None of us realized how hard it is.'' ''What happened on the road to gender equality?'' said Suzanne M. Bianchi, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. ''A lot of work happened.''
  8. 8. THE SPIDER-MAN CONFLICT In my fantasy life – I wear a cape - the cape says ''SuperMom'' and in it I fly effortlessly from office to home, computer screen to children. In my cape, I am heroic and strong. No deadline conflicts with any vacation; no child gets sick while I am leaving to give a speech. The central conflict in the Spider-Man series is not Spider-Man versus some supervillain. It is Peter Parker's attempt to balance a normal life (getting Aunt May her heart medicine) with his work as a superhero (going after the supervillain endangering innocent lives – that he encounters while walking out of the drug store). In the ''Spider-Man 2'‘ movie, Peter Parker (Spider-Man's conflicted alter ego) can't make it to his beloved Mary Jane's play because of an emergency at the ''office.'' She's performing on Broadway; my children perform in the middle school auditorium. But putting those minor differences aside -- been there, done that. If superheroes can't find balance, what hope is there for mere mortals?
  9. 9. Balancing life and work is like riding a teeter-totter. Sometimes it's life that is heavier. Sometimes it's work that pulls you down. Once in awhile, for a fleeting moment, everything aligns, parallel and in sync. And then the ground opens and swallows the entire playground.
  10. 10. MAKING HISTORY ( HERSTORY ) ONE DAY AT A TIME “ March is Women’s History Month – a time to look back at those who have swept us along from the past to the present, changing the world in the process. But history is sweeping and purposeful only in hindsight. In realtime it is the accumulation of small steps taken mostly by averages Joes (or in this case Janes) who simply did what needed to be done. Tomorrow’s history is being quietly made today.” Lisa Belkin NY Times 2006
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