No kids allowed

Toen ik solliciteerde voor een doctoraatsbursaal, werd mij de vraag gesteld of ik toch geen 4 kinderen zou krijgen de komende 4 jaar. Deze vraag vond ik al zeer ongepast. Ik was niet van plan om meteen aan kinderen te beginnen en dit heb ik dan ook gezegd. Uiteindelijk bleek dat om ‘financiĆ«le redenen’ het onderzoeksproject niet van start kon gaan.

Achteraf hoorde ik – via gemeenschappelijke kennissen- dat de (mannelijke) professor die instond voor het onderzoeksproject vond dat ik teveel ‘oogde’ als iemand die klaar was voor kinderen en ik daardoor onvoldoende garanties kon bieden niet zwanger te worden.

Story signed by: m.

The story happened to me as a Master student in the year 2011 at an academic institution in Flanders

You know you will have to chose between PhD and children, don’t you?

At that time I was a researcher under contract, seriously thinking about doing a PhD. I told it to a male colleague, a young professor, who had graduated 6 months earlier.
He told me, as if it was obvious : “You know you will have to chose between having a PhD and having children, don’t you ?” He was married and his wife stayed at home raising their children. I was young, afraid and absolutely not self-confident. I changed my mind.

It took me a few years and two children to realize that I did not had to chose between family and career. I started my PhD after my second child’s birth and completed it in less that 5 years. Faster than my male colleague.

Story signed by : Professor Myself

The story happened in the year 2000-2004 at an academic institution in Wallonia