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Equity and career-life balance in marine mammal science?

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Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that family and care-giving responsibilities are driving women away from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Marine mammal science often incurs heavy fieldwork and travel obligations, which make it a challenging career in which to find work-life balance. This opinion piece explores gender equality, equity (the principles of fairness that lead to equality), and work-life balance in science generally and in this field in particular. We aim to (1) raise awareness of these issues among members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy; (2) explore members’ attitudes and viewpoints collected from an online survey and further discussion at a biennial conference workshop in 2015; and (3) make suggestions for members to consider for action, or for the Board of Governors to consider in terms of changes to policy or procedures. Leaks in our pipeline—the attrition of women, and others with additional caring responsibilities—represent an intellectual and economic loss. By striving for equity and promoting work-life balance, we will help to ensure a healthy and productive Society better able to succeed in its aims promoting education, high quality research, conservation, and management of marine mammals.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-965
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume33
Issue number3
Early online date12 Apr 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

    Research areas

  • Gender, Equality, Leadership, Work-life balance, STEM

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