Karin Hannes said: What's being female got to do with anything?
Little or nothing, because I know as many young males who have a difficult time maintaining an academic position while also being a husband and a father. I agree that there is a higher percentage of males having a wife that is less ambitious then they are, which makes the juggle between work and family life a bit more comfortable for them. However, it was my personal choice to opt for a male that is at least as ambitious as I am, spends professional time abroad and intends to grow in his job. There was a time where I thought I would have been better of with "a wife"; the type of person that has been described by Trisha Greenhalgh as the one bringing in the sandwiches that you have forgotten on the table ... (after having dressed up three toddlers in the rush to get them into child care in time, so that you can enter an aula of around 400 students feeling relaxed and prepared to engage with them). But I do not have such a wife, and neither does my partner. As time goes by, I have learned to deal with Murphy's law. I became a bit more chaotic, need to postpone a meeting more often, publish an article less a year. And frankly spoken, no-one really seems to care. In the end the number of papers I produce, the key-notes I have been able to give and the projects for which I succeeded in attracting money actually mean very little compared to being able to participate in the activities that are organized in preschool, seeing the stars in the eyes of my children because I was able to make it in time for their performance. My partner and I both have, of course, the luck to be working in a family friendly working environment, where colleagues allow us to reach our potential without making too many compromises in our personal life. We often drop a ball while juggling, but who the hell does not? Do I think there is an inequality between man and women? Yes, and the numbers can show us this. There is still much to achieve in setting up a judgment system where the career output of both men and women is measured based on the time they were actually professionally active, taking into account some major life events. But until that happens, let us not fall into the trap of getting manipulated, just because we are carrying a womb with us.