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Women in Science

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Video clip: Helen wants to achieve as much as possible before having children.

I think I’ve taken the view that I want to try and get as much of my early career, I want to sort of try and progress quite quickly at an earlier stage and then have children a little bit later. I mean people often have children during their GP training because it’s quite a financially sensible thing to do because the NHS pays for your maternity leave, whereas once you’re a salaried GP or a partner, a GP partner it’s much more difficult to get good maternity leave. That’s not such an issue being in research because the University of Oxford you know it has reasonable maternity pay requirements, you know, things I assume, I don’t know very much about the detail. But I think it’s made me want to try you know to get my DPhil done.

Now that I’m in my early thirties and lots of my friends are having children, and I’m thinking you know tick-tock, tick-tock. My husband now lives away during the week so he only comes back at weekends; that doesn’t really seem like the ideal time to be bringing a baby, you know to be having a, you know me being at home during the week it doesn’t seem ideal to be having a baby. But that situation is not going to change in the immediate future so it’s hard to see, it’s hard to see where it all fits in, and the time pressure on that gets more and more I think as you start to go from being you know sort of from early thirties towards mid-thirties you’re starting to think, ‘Oh well when’s it all going to happen?’

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