Men, woman unhappy with work/life balance

March 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- Lack of work flexibility, lack of career opportunities and low salaries are driving many to reconsider science and technology fields, a U.S. group said.

The Association for Women in Science surveyed 4,225 publishing scientists and researchers worldwide and found 54 percent of all scientists and researchers said that work demands conflict with their personal lives at least two to three times per week.

Only one-third of researchers said they work for family friendly institutions. Many said that their employers do not have spousal hire policies or that such policies are not available because of funding cuts.

Fifty-two percent reported that they are happy with their work-life integration, compared with 61 percent of men working in research across all fields.

Thirty-seven percent of women researchers said that ensuring good work-life integration negatively impacted their careers versus 30 percent of men. However, for those researchers with dependent children, 36 percent reported career problems.

"These findings confirm that work-life conflict is not gender-specific in the scientific community," Janet Bandows Koster, executive director of the Association for Women in Science, said in a statement.

Nearly 40 percent of women said they delayed having children because of their careers versus 27 percent of men. A number of women mentioned waiting until they had a permanent position to get pregnant or noted that they could not afford to start a family on their wages, Koster said.

The survey was conducted December 2011 to January 2012, and was 70 percent were male. It has a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points.

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