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Women in Science

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Interview excerpt: Katja felt that if she worked part-time she would still be trying to get the work done for less money.

Portrait of Katja Gehmlich© Women in ScienceBut I never worked formally part-time. I know there are good schemes of doing kind of part-time work upon return from maternity leave (called ‘flexible return to work’) but I thought for me personally it would mean a salary sacrifice and still trying to get the work done. So why should I sacrifice my salary for still doing the same amount of work.

I think it depends a bit on the nature of your job because my job doesn’t require me to be here eight hours a day, five days a week, which makes it easier.

Is that because you feel you should be seeing what’s going on in the laboratory?

Yes, and also even if people internally will acknowledge that you’re going part-time, the external world wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, your publications only have to be half as good, or your study has to have only half the amount of study subjects because you work part-time.’

From the outside you will still be scrutinised at the same level as someone who works full-time. I think it’s different if you employ someone to cover the rest of your time, then you could make up for it but otherwise it’s just a drop in salary.