2008-06-03 Women and Science, again

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Actually, women and any career, again. There have been numerous posts about a recent report on the lack of women in science and technology careers, pointing to the sexism and macho culture as the main reason women leave these careers. Needless to say the comments on some of those posts have been frustrating. My least favorite comment by far, and more than one person has made this comment, is that motherhood and [insert time-consuming and challenging career here] are not compatible. Let me point out that no one ever says fatherhood and [time consuming career] are not compatible. Why? And why do people say that motherhood and careers are incompatible? There is an underlying assumption that women, because they physically give birth (though not always), a) will need to/want to devote more time to childcare than a man who does not give birth and b) no one else will be there to do the childcare. Fatherhood is not incompatible with a career because there's an assumption that a) he does not want to/need to devote time to childcare and b) there's someone else to do the childcare.

I call BS.