• Kat J. McAlpine

    Editor, The Brink Twitter Profile

    Kat J McAlpine

    Kat J. McAlpine is editor of The Brink, Boston University’s news site for scientific breakthroughs and pioneering research. Kat has been telling science stories for over a decade, and prior to joining BU’s editorial staff, publicized research at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering. Profile

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There are 2 comments on Here’s How to Really Improve Gender Diversity in STEM Research

  1. All these recommendations are more than valid. It would help to add a focus on pipeline support from 9th grade to faculty appointment. It is also important to discuss racial diversity both within and in addition to a discussion of gender.

  2. “But, pregnancy, child-rearing, or other family-related matters can disrupt the [promotion] timeline and disproportionately benefit men.”

    Child-rearing is not a disruption. Perhaps that’s why children and teens these days have so much anxiety and depression–society beckons for them to be viewed by their parents as only disruptions to their otherwise meaningful and rewarding lives. Think about it–as a young child, would you rather be raised by loving parents in your own home, or by hourly wage employees in a daycare institution?

    While not a researcher, I had worked in STEM for 17 years when I was pregnant with my first child. I knew that if I tried to “balance” work with family, one or the other would suffer, and since work provided a paycheck, likely family would be the one to suffer. So, although it cut our family income in half, I became a full-time mom, and we’ve never looked back. The rewards are far better than any paid job could ever provide, not the least of which is having children growing up knowing that someone who loves them deeply has their back at all times and is teaching them to be honest, polite and confident human beings by daily example.

    All that said, I’m hoping the societal pendulum swings back to encourage one of the parents to be home to nurture their children (mom and/or dad) at least until they enter kindergarten, and then parents can go back to work while their children are in school.

    Any policies that research institutions put in place to encourage parents to be full-time caregivers for their children, I’m all for.

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