• Question: As a female engineer, do you feel like you have time to spend with your family? Or is your whole life based around your work? I feel like this is a very relevent question for todays women in society who feel like their work will get in the way of having a family as there is much pressure for women to earn money in todays day and age.

    Asked by laceyc to Amit, Emily, Jo, Martin, Paige on 12 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Emily Bullen

      Emily Bullen answered on 11 Mar 2012:

      This will depend on the company you work for, and also what your attitude to work is! I love my job,  but it is most definitely not my whole life. I generally work 8-4:30 so have a nice long evening to do whatever i like with. Lots of the mums at work have decided to go part time or work their hours around school drop off/pick up, and my company supports that. 
      I think in the modern world being a woman and wanting a family does most definitely not need to limit the job you choose!! There are also more and more female engineers around. When I went for my job interview, there were 12 girls and no guys!

    • Photo: Joanne Davies

      Joanne Davies answered on 11 Mar 2012:

      I spend a lot of time with my family when I’m not working and my job hasn’t got in the way of having a family of my own.

      I currently work Monday to Thursdays and get three days a week off. That’s plenty of time to spend with my family. I have three grown up children who are all very proud they have a mother who is an engineer.

    • Photo: Paige Brown

      Paige Brown answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      This is a VERY good question. You can ready more questions about ‘women in science’ on this Nature Network forum: http://network.nature.com/groups/women_in_science/forum/topics

      Engineers are busy, there is no doubt about it. But it is not so much how busy you are, but what you do with your time not at work that really matters. Women science professors are often pressured to be very productive in the years leading up to their ‘tenure’ at Universities, and these years are often the years that they would like to have children in. This pressure can be very hard for women science professors to deal with and still be happy, but at many universities today, this is starting to change. Universities now are trying to be more flexible with women having and raising children during the keys years of their work in their fields.

      Personally, I feel like I have time to spend with my family, because I make this time a priority. If you have a partner in life who will support you, understand the times that you are busy and enjoy the times with you when you are not busy, then I think time spent at work doesn’t feel so hard. But always try to give family time priority in your life!