Tuesday, June 20, 2017

First Summary Blog post: Work-Life Balance

There are over 1000 blog posts on the women in astronomy blog! The summary blog posts are a series of posts that summarize some of the major topics covered in the women in astronomy blog. They are intended to be part summary of topics covered as well as to add some updated information on those topics. Please suggest other topics in the comments!

Sometimes the best work-life balance is to do both at the same time! One of my hobbies is to play with various aspects of 3D printing. I am demonstrating what my 3D printer can do at the annual Institute for Astronomy Open House
The first topic for the summary blog posts is on work-life balance. Why? Because it's Sunday, and I'm splitting my day between writing this blog post, preparing for an upcoming conference, and keeping the Pan-STARRS processing moving along.  Clearly, I need to work on my work-life balance.  Since I don't have kids, I'm primarily interested in how to make it so that I do more than just work.  For me, posts that discuss how to set boundaries, how to say no to things, and how to set a reasonable number of hours to work are what I consider 'work-life balance'. When writing this post, I discovered that the majority of the blog posts on work-life balance are geared towards balancing a family and a career. However, I caution it's not just the women (and men!) with children that want to manage work-life balance, this is something that probably all of us can work on. Making a workplace culture more flexible and family friendly helps everyone out.  


I did a search for 'work-life balance' on this blog, and came up with 174 matching entries.  I sifted through all of these, sorted and culled them, found updated links, and organized them into several categories. 

Career Profiles

The first set of links comes from the career profiles.  These always have a few sections on work-life balance. Easiest is to look them up directly here, and click on the ones that are most relevant.  You can also find all of them using tags on the women in astronomy blog, here, including a handful that are not listed on the aas.org site. The 2 questions that I find have the most relevant answers about work-life balance are  "How satisfied are you with your work-life balance in your current job? How family-friendly is your current position?", and "How many hours do you work in a week?"

Work Life Balance issues relating to balancing career and raising a family

- When to have kids


Gender Politics -- work-life balance for families including when to have kids

- When pregnant

I’m planning a research sabbatical next year and by the way, we’re expecting a kid -- being pregnant at the same time as being on a research sabbatical


NSF's Career-Life Balance Initiative: A Small Success Story -- using the NSF Career-Life Balance initiative to shift a start date

Rising to the Challenge -- personal story of work-life balance (cancer / defense / moving / having a kid)

Parental leave policies 2.0 -- a lot of resources about parental leave listed here

Family Leave - International Comparison -- comparison of family leave policies for various countries

CSWA Special Session at the AAS: Family Leave Policies -- primarily talks about grad and postdoc leave policies

- When you have kids

It Gets Easier -- balancing work-life gets easier as your child gets older

Work-Family: It's Not Always About Balance -- it's possible at times to have work-family in harmony

Postdoc Parenting Work-Life Balance  -- discusses childcare (including links to other posts), has information on parental leave as well

Guest Post: Graduate Student Mom -- discusses talking with advisor about pregnancy, plans for childcare, and lessons learned 

Guest Post: Eliza Kempton on Support for a Working Mom with Facebook -- it's useful to reach out on facebook when you are feeling overwhelmed - lots of great responses

Work-Life Balance: Theory and Practice -- it's important for senior colleagues to model a balanced life for younger scientists.  This one discusses flexibility in childcare.

- Policies for promoting work-life balance (primarily geared towards families)

Thoughts on Work-Life Balance  -- how will academic institutions improve work-life balance?

Balance: a generational divide -- policies for promoting work-life balance, as well as comparisons between different generations of astronomers on views of work-life balance

AASWOMEN for October 29, 2010 -- suggestions for policies for work-life balance and a few links (item #2) 

Report from Special Session on Diversity at Austin AAS -- bullet points on how to make a place more family friendly

CSWA Response to the NSF Career-Life Initiative -- CSWA's response to the NSF's request for ideas and recommendations for the Career-Life Initiative

Toward More Inclusive Family-Friendly Policies  -- From Jan 2013 STATUS, an article discussing that why we need to stop asking if women can have it all, and ideas for family friendly policies 

- How to balance observing with childcare

Guest Post: Eilat Glikman on 'In Praise of Remote Observing' -- remote observing is very work-life balance friendly

The Canary Islands, Observing Runs, and Children -- childcare is a research enabling expense, and we should find ways to reimburse it

Work Life Balance issues that can affect everyone 

- things you can do

What Can I Do? Give a Talk on a Women-in-Science Topic -- suggests hosting talks in your department about women-in-science topics

One Man's Perspective on Diversity and Inequality in Science -- the end of the article discusses how work life balance issues affect everyone, including single people and those without children

Work-life Balance: Hours -- protecting your hours, only working 40-50 hours a week

Celebrate Labor Day by Fixing Your Email Problem  -- a plan to try to limit the checking and answering of emails during non-work times

The Awesomest 7-Year Post-Doc -- a list of great ideas to set boundaries and enjoy life

Don’t Masculinize the Letter of Recommendation: Towards a Truly Gender-Brave Science Community -- don't mention work-life balance in your recommendation letters, it's a form of gender bias 

Encouraging Men to Advocate for Women in Astronomy -- lists a number of reasons why men should advocate for women in astronomy

Guest Post: Nicole Zellner on Vibrant Research at a Liberal Arts College -- Nicole describes how she balances different aspects of her work

Report on “NextGen VOICES Results: Work-Life Balance” -- from Jan 2014 STATUS, article on work-life balance, great suggestions for things you can do.

- more information and links

“What Balance?” Lessons from the AAS Special Work/Life Balance panel, January 11, 2011 in Seattle, WA  -- from Jan 2012 STATUS, a list of myths and realities for work-life balance
From AASWomen for March 22, 2013 -- a link to a NYTimes article on a discussion of work-life balancfrom Erin Callan, former chief financial officer of Lehman Brothers.

WIA 2009 - results?  -- women are more negatively impacted than men when they pursue work-life balance

Summit on Gender and the Postdoctorate: vol. 2 -- why do people leave academia? men cite money reasons, not even in top 10 for women

From AASWomen for August 16, 2013, this link  --  compares the levels of work-life balance achieved by parents and non-parents

The Post Postdoc Phase -- good work-life balance discussion as a faculty at a 4th tier university

AASWomen Newsletter 10/23/09 has information about http://www.mentornet.net -- this one specifically mentions work-life balance as something to be mentored on

CSWA resource on work-life balance  -- it has many links and resources not listed on this blog post

Women of Color in Astronomy and Astrophysics -- there are many barriers for women of color, #9 specifically talk about work-life balance

Reaching Parity: Lessons from the NSF AAPF -- lists major actions that make AAPF successful at achieving parity and which can be adapted by others

Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities -- discussion about a short video "Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities", which includes work-life balance