Yesterday I attended my first conference-planning meeting at my home institution.
When shall Z, a reknowned scholar, speak? Between 6 and 8 pm. A discussion will follow and a dinner will follow the discussion.
“Why so late?”, I asked, given that there is no way I can not be at home at 6 pm on a Tuesday night.
“So that everyone may attend”, was the general answer.
“Everyone” just means “everyone like us”, i.e., a (preferably single) man, with no family duties.
Out of the researchers in my institute, 25% alone are women. Among them, only two (me included) have children. Thus, I imagine that no one thinks he needs to worry about us.
But after years of lectures at 6 pm, or on Saturday morning, with long discussions and dinners following them, I wonder:
Is it that women with families are not enough to have their voices heard?
Or is not it the case that there are not enough women with families in the academia because there is no way for them to find a balance between the two worlds?