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?


Jenn said...

Just found your blog today... a good read.
I'd also love to find out if there are any scimoms out there who left for a few years to care for family and successfully re-entered (or found a new sci-related career path) once their kids were school age... is this even do-able? At least in the UK there are several fellowships and grant specifically dseigned for recruiting women back to the lab after a career break, but I don't know anyone who actually managed to do it, which is one more reason I'm scared to try it myself...

JCIOK said...

I also found the blog quite by accident. I'm a 58 year old with a doc in Human Development and about 30 years in one area or another of mental health or social work. I keep finding pretty much dead end kinds of jobs and want to try something new. Problem has always been not having the courage to step out of the wage earning system. I have done a lot of qualitative research in the areas of family life and child development and would love to do that more than just occasionally. I sure could use some ideas.