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Women in Science

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Interview excerpt: When Lucy had her second maternity leave she had just moved to a new role. She felt annoyed that collaborators involved in her next project would not stop bothering her with emails.

When you were off on maternity leave did you completely leave your work behind? Or did you try and keep in touch with emails and in other ways?

The first time [maternity leave] I was writing my thesis and that was hell, and I would never ever recommend anyone to do that. And the second time I was, I’d kind of learnt from my mistakes as it were, and I thought I’ve got to just concentrate [on the baby].

And have a break? Was it a natural break because you’d finished one piece of research?

Yes it was easier from that point of view. And even then, even though I’d, well I’d just came back to the lab, I think we were supposed to be joining up with some new collaboration and these people in another country were emailing me all the time, asking me stuff and I was going like, “I can’t deal with this, ‘cos I’m not,” I think I was finishing the clinical and I hadn’t even taken up the research job and I couldn’t believe they were kind of, wouldn’t stop hassling me. I was like, “I can’t deal with this now. I’m not even in this job yet let alone, let alone in the lab working on this new project.” So that was easier to break, it was easier to manage that I think. I had a bit more of an idea of what to do and I had to sort of take the time and you know manage everything and, and yes I was between jobs which makes it easier.