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Women in Science

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Video clip: Maggie loves her research and sometimes chooses to spend time on it at weekends, but thinks that she may not apply for more funding because she wants more time with her family.

What about your work-life balance now? You said there was a lot of work in the evenings. Have you ever seen work and life as a separate thing or as a continuum? Some people have said it’s really part of their lives all the time, their work.

Yes, I do find it difficult now because of my family commitments and because, not because; if I was an academic I think it would be okay. But because I’m Head of House, it’s difficult because I do have a lot of commitments, unmoveable commitments and I have six grandchildren and three more arriving this year, and you know, half term is a time when I’d like to be with them. At least give a day. But there are four families so that’s essentially a whole week in the middle of term. So there are things I have to work out and the, the other thing because I’m keeping up my research a lot of what would be ‘life’ can get turned into ‘research’. But I do love research. So I think if I choose to spend a day at the weekend doing research, I think that’s alright. But for these reasons, now at this point of my career, I’ve been thinking, I may not go for any more funding because once you have funding you have deadlines and if you have deadlines you sometimes actually have to work at the weekend rather than choose to work at the weekend. So I think now more than any time in my life, it’s something that I’m thinking about more. And also because I’m older and I do get very tired with the evening work. So yes it is an issue that my husband and I talk about quite a lot.

And the evening work is hosting dinners for important people mainly, I guess?

Yes, that kind of thing. Or being with students or, it’s all, it’s all really great. But there’s a lot of it [laughs].