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The Work-Life Integration Overload: Thousands Of Researchers Weigh In On Outmoded Work Environments, Unfriendly Family Policies

NEW YORK, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

More Than Half Say Work Conflicts with Life Responsibilities at Least 2-3 Times a Week, Nearly 40% of Women Researchers Have Delayed Childbearing

Attracting workers into science and technology fields could be hampered by work-life integration issues according to a new international survey. Drawing data from 4,225 publishing scientists and researchers worldwide, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) finds that lack of flexibility in the workplace, dissatisfaction with career development opportunities and low salaries are driving both men and women to re-consider their profession.

More than half (54%) of all scientists and researchers said that work demands conflict with their personal lives at least 2-3 times per week.

Only a third of researchers agreed they work for family friendly institutions. A number said that their employers do not have spousal hire policies or that such policies are not available because of funding cuts.

Only half of the women (52%) reported that they are happy with their work-life integration, compared with 61% of men working in research across all fields.

One third of researchers say that ensuring good work-life integration has negatively impacted their careers and women (37%) were more likely than men (30%) to say this was the case. For those researchers with dependent children, 36% reported career problems.

Nearly 40% of women respondents have delayed having children because of their careers, while 27% of males indicated the same situation. A number of women mentioned waiting until they had a permanent position to get pregnant or noted that they could not afford to start a family on their wages.  

One in 10 researchers indicated that they expect to leave their current job within the next year. Of those intending to leave, females were twice as likely (12%) as males (6%) to cite a spouse's job offer or relocation as the reason. Of researchers intending to leave, 9% indicated it was because they were unable to balance work-life integration.

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