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Women in the Chemical Workforce: A WORKSHOP REPORT TO THE CHEMICAL SCIENCES ROUNDTABLE
review. So, we are going through that, and that is what has me more worried. I mean things could just get worse, and we have got to fight back. That is why we did the report, to help fight back.
Nancy H. Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Thank you very much for your comment about women and children and the need to restructure the job to address the problem of the greater family responsibilities that so often fall to women. At MIT we did a study that shed light on the underrepresentation of women in science and found two major reasons that we believe may contribute to their departure from the profession. One is this subtle gender bias, and the other is the family issue. Young women faculty told us that until the latter problem is addressed there will never be a large number of women on our faculty in science and engineering. This problem is beginning to impact young men as well, although still to a much lesser degree. When I think about this problem of balancing family and work, it seems to me that the cost of fixing it may be substantial. I am wondering whether you have any suggestions on how we might go about obtaining the needed funds. How does one make people understand that we may need to put day care in every laboratory that is built, for example, and make day care an item in the budget of a grant? That we need to have housing near the campus so that people do not have to spend hours a day commuting to work and picking up their children? I think when we women left the home we forgot to note that it probably costs about $100,000 or even $150,000 a year to replace a college graduate in the home, since many of these women were working 2 or 3 shifts per day performing diverse and important jobs for the family.
Arthur Bienenstock: That is a very good point, and I don't have all the answers. That is why I would like to see more discussion of it. I can tell you what we did in the places where I have experience. Certainly there was the establishment of day care centers, but you find day care centers are pretty expensive, and what the university did was give the land and the buildings away; nevertheless, staffing is expensive and we have to accept the fact that for a period, family income is going to go into child care centers.
I mentioned delays in the tenure clock. We also introduced faculty leave programs, not for this purpose but for the purpose of giving extra time to faculty members who had been very heavily involved in things. What we found was that there were inordinate demands on our minority and women faculty. Not only were there the normal demands of teaching, research, and committees, but there were so few of them that they were being asked to provide guidance for women and women 's groups and all that sort of thing. So what we did was extend the sabbatical period beyond normal for people who faced unusual demands, to give them more time for their own research quietly.
All sorts of little things like that help. They don't solve the problem, but every little thing helps a bit. Those are the things we tried, and still try to maintain. I don't have all the answers, but these are things that I think should be the subject of discussion.