”this dog eat dog world allows no room for maternity leave or illness or family friendly working life’’

My youngest of my 3 kids is nearly 8 now and I still work in the same institution, at the same grade as I did when I was pregnant. I am our family’s sole breadwinner; my husband is a stay-at-home dad. The discrimination and punishment I have suffered is so subtle and underhand that it has taken me until now to realise what has actually happened to me. I thought the problem lay with me. ‘If only I worked harder, longer, produced more outputs’ I reasoned. But the truth is I have been penalised and my career progression has been impeded because of my child.
I work as a lecturer in a university. You might think, as I naively did when I took up the job in 2007, that this august institution’s priority would be education. You would be wrong. Universities have become big businesses, where research output is the priority of the day and the ‘publish or perish’-dog eat dog world allows no room for maternity leave or illness or family friendly working life.
So I am resigned to my fate. I cannot move jobs as it is not feasible for my family and it would not solve the inherent problem within academia as elsewhere- career or family; career or family; career or family? Very few of us can truly have them both. I have chosen my wonderful family but at enormous personal cost to myself.
I wonder what the future will hold for my son and daughters? Will they face the same issues? I am trying to change the landscape by becoming involved with projects like Genovate and Athena Swan. Too late for me perhaps, not for them and my younger colleagues. Never too late to change.
Thanks for listening.

USASwedishSpainEnglish