“I’ve never been able to contemplate failure. Success is everything.”
Recently I was reading with lots of interest a paper in S magazine from last April. It was interview with 3 high-flyers young academic women who were succeeded to reach the top of their career and to combine motherhood with careers as research scientists. I envy them hugely. One was a 36 old professor of neuroscience at UCL, the other one was 39 years old reader in Biology at Cambridge and the third one was 31 years old lecturer at Oxford University. The main conclusion from the paper was “It’s not easy, though, and all of us with young children need large amounts of determination, resilience and persistence. “
One other interesting point that one of them reported that was her biggest problem to overcome was “the impostor syndrome” and I think I suffer the same problem in some degree and it’s very important to overcome it.
I read some other interviews in this field and all the women emphasise that they have to be particularly strong and persevering as well as be prepared to work harder than their male colleagues, indeed, have to work harder in order to prove their competence. And it emerges that they have a great deal of courage and self-confidence, as well as a good sense of humour.
However I believe it’s the same in any profession but harder in academic especially these days with fierce competition for one of the very rare permanent posts in universities, as a lecturer or permanent research leader and the same high competition for men too! Just women need to hard worker to balance career with motherhood and of other expectations!!!