Friday, February 16, 2007

Networking Broads

It's been three weeks of sinus hell in this household. My three year old has just finished her antibiotics, my 5 year old is a few days into his, and I'm three days into mine! SciHusband is two weeks into his cold but it looks like he may conquer it without the help of pharmaceuticals. I'm finally, finally feeling like I've turned the corner on this bug that's been attacking me since two days before my 5 year old's January birthday party. Thus the infrequent blogs. I'm running on a sleep deficit in normally but I've lost a lot of additional sleep hours - and I feel it.

I am about to undertake two trips - one next week back to snowy New England to meet with collaborators and spend a few days with the parental units. The next a few weeks after that across the pond to present at a meeting. I have mixed emotions about these trips - I need them, I'm looking forward to them and yet I already miss the kids and I haven't even left yet! I think only a primary caregiver knows what these conflicting emotions feel's a strange mix of excitement, worry, guilt and a lot about not being in control. As SciHusband says "We'll survive with you on speed dial".

I'm also feeling a bit unstable in general which might be contributing to the travel anxieties. I'm in the midst of casting about to see what my options might be for a change in career. There are some things afloat which make me think my part time position is more unstable than previously thought. While surfing, I came across a website for 85Broads, a women's networking website set up by former financial manager Janet Hansen, who worked for Goldman Sachs on WallStreet (thus the play on Broad Street). Check it out. What caught my attention was her story:
When I left 85 Broad Street in 1988 to raise my daughter Meredith and later, my son Christopher, I felt a powerful sense of loss. I realized that while I certainly missed the action on the trading floor, I missed my colleagues even more.
This sentiment rings loudly in my ear, even though I'm still working part time.

What also caught my attention was Broad 2.0, a networking resource for women who have had to step out or step back in the workplace because of family and other responsibilities. This seemed like a unique resource for someone in my position but right now, access to this particular part of the website is limited to current students and alumni of a specific but expanding group of colleges and universities that have signed on to be involved with 85Broads. However, this might useful for some of the women in science that read this blog.

Is there something comparable out their for women in academics?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wow Wow Everybody

It's been talked about, it's been rumored and now "it's for real" as my 5 year old would say.
Harvard has named it's first female president, Radcliffe Institute dean Drew Gilpin Faust. Now it joins its Cambridge neighbor, MIT, who installed Susan Hockfield as president several years ago.

As reported on the CNN website:

Drew Gilpin Faust recalls her mother lecturing her that "this is a man's world, sweetie, and the sooner you learn that, the better off you'll be."

It was a lesson, she wrote in a memoir, that she refused to accept.

"I hope that my own appointment can be one symbol of an opening of opportunities that would have been inconceivable even a generation ago," Faust said. But she also added, "I'm not the woman president of Harvard, I'm the president of Harvard."

Wow wow everybody!