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Women in Science

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Video clip: Irene explains that her husband, who was also an academic, did ‘the lion share’ of child care in the early days with the kids, and that without him she would not have achieved her success.

I was actually pregnant with my third child at that time. So it seems every time I was sort of given a new post, I was pregnant and again it was complex sort of having those, those babies at a time when I’d just taken on a new level of responsibility. But we juggled it somehow, between my husband and I.

And I have to say, if it wasn’t for my husband really doing the lion share of all the early years with the kids, in terms of the picking up and the dropping and that, I certainly couldn’t have at all achieved what I’ve achieved. And that has been a very notable, valuable component of my success story, has been my husband’s willingness to play more than, you know, his share of the role and take the responsibility really for that side of our lives in those early years.

And I think again that is something that I am very open and honest about with, you know, my junior colleagues in terms of managing their expectations about, you know, juggling all these different aspects of work and life is that, you know, it’s, it always does come with a cost. And to have somebody who’s alongside with you and supporting you is just essential. And if not, if it does always, always fall on the woman, then it will naturally be, you know, more difficult.