On the Changing Meaning of Work-Life Balance
The following Q&A with Sheena Josselyn is adapted from the webinar, In First Person: Tips to Survive and Excel as a Woman in Neuroscience.
How can women in neuroscience balance family with a very demanding research and teaching career?
Sheena Josselyn: Finding a balance is the trickiest thing in life. I don’t think it’s unique to neuroscience. I think that there are many careers that kind of feel all-consuming.
It’s really important to realize that balance is going to change at different stages of your career. When you’re just starting out and getting established, it might be more time at work. The challenge with neuroscience is that usually starting a family and independent careers begin at about the same time. Maybe we have to engage our partners and our communities — our villages — a little bit more to try to get closer to balance.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve found balance — I just sort of melded everything in together so I don’t have real boundaries. That works pretty well for me, but I don’t know if that would work for everybody.
To address these challenges, at an institutional level, make it okay to take time off for childbirth or family reasons, and, from our end, be able to take a little bit of time off.
Watch the full webinar, In First Person: Tips to Survive and Excel as a Woman in Neuroscience.