Women in science face many predicaments. They can get into the field with the best of intentions, but they still have to learn a lot about the field. One specific element of this is lab work. Working in a lab can require attention to detail. This minute day in day out exploration might leave some women floundering.
Women who succeed through independent study and are rigorously inquisitive might love the independence of a lab setting. They have to follow their lab control procedures and observe how the experimentation works out. They can work with a variety of animals to do experiments. No creature is too small and even mosquitos are ample participants in a research study. Humans want to understand too how they operate, if not just for the purpose of learning how to ward them off.
There’s a lot to learn in the lab settings, but some people prefer others that have a more interactive lab atmosphere. They are able to share their experiences and techniques with each other. These labs do exist, but not all of them are as co-operative.
Finding a way to make those connections early on in studying is a great way to ensure that you continue in academia. People usually make networks when they are graduate students. These networks can in turn lead to post-graduate studies. You need to find someone to study under, so having a mentor is quintessential.
However, this requirement to have lab experience to work in a lab can also keep people trapped on the academic path. They can go on to pursue a post-graduate path of studying without even knowing if lab work is what they want to do. They will instead have to find out later after completing all their studies if lab work suits them.
The lab is not the only place for women in science. They can go out into the workforce. However, they risk losing the safety net of their connections and actual jobs at the university. For these women, the pay outside the lab may not even be superior to what they have at the school.
On this line of thinking, women have other challenges in science than just moving up the academic ladder. They also face the challenge of knowing whether or not to have children. Women that do have families tend to know though when to say enough is enough for a day. They will go home because they have other responsibilities. They also tend to seek more stable jobs because they need them. They cannot be raising children and just rely on the income ebbs and flows of temporary contracts.
Women also struggle in science to know when enough education is sufficient. They have opportunities to do post-doc work. This presents with a challenge as to whether they can handle the stress. They might find too that to pursue these opportunities, they will need to relocate. Moving to another country can be stressful, even if it’s just on a temporary basis. The culture shock as well as the work of getting settled alone is exhausting. Then the feeling of stress when there are pivotal moments as to whether they will pass or fail.
They will also face critical choices later in life of knowing when to retire. There is another generation of women coming into the field. Most women will want to create space for them as well. The dedication that it takes to be in science is probably one of the reasons why few get to that phase. They need to feel like they are committed wholly to work due to the intensive nature that research takes on. This may be why few women are willing to tread the waters of the upper echelons of science.
The discussion of women in science is broad and yet fascinating. Entering a lab will always be uncharted waters. A person’s transition from the education of scientific research into actual practice can be bumpy. It might be hard to recall the actual process as well that one is taught in school when it comes time to practical application. Yet through all of these trials, women in science have still managed to pursue their passions and live out their dreams.