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Women in Science

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Video clip: Marian suggested possible reasons why women may not apply for as many fellowships as men, including lack of confidence, more to ‘juggle’ at home with distractions, and planning around maternity leave.

Are there any other reasons why you think women might not apply in such great numbers as men for fellowships? Apart from lack of confidence?

Apart from lack of confidence, I guess that you know, if we are, if we are juggling more things you know, if we’re going home and we’re doing the cooking and the bathing and then we’ve got to think about sitting and writing a fellowship when you’re exhausted you might just not do it. I don’t know, my husband is certainly more single minded. Whether that’s a male or female trait I don’t know.

More single minded?

More single minded. He will focus on one thing and he is able to ignore what’s going on around him. And I’m much more distractible whether that’s you know I don’t know, whether that’s just, just me.

You had some other idea why women might not apply for fellowships.

So I mean one of the reasons that I decided to have children at the point I did was that I knew I was applying for a, for a job which was about to last five years. And if you’re applying for a Fellowship which would be three years you know you’ve got to deliver, and you know that you’re planning to have children in a year or so, that, that may well put you off, so you might tend to apply for a research assistant position knowing that it’s, it’s permanent or it’s longer term and that you can safely, safely take maternity leave without your contract coming to an end. So I can see that that might put people off.