8 Apr 2014

Making space for kids is child’s play at the WTI

With events organised throughout the year for children of researchers and staff, WTI is cultivating an image as a child-friendly employer.

In light of this, Doctoral Programme Director Shaheeza Lalani has made it a priority to organise children’s activities around key holidays, in addition to providing childcare at the WTI to external researchers attending the Annual Doctoral Seminar.

“I am just following the example set by our Managing Director, Thomas Cottier. He treats us all like family and thinks, to borrow from Dostoyevsky who spoke of the soul, that the minds of intellectuals are ‘healed by being with children’… I think he’s right!”  

On 7 April, WTI children enjoyed a pre-Easter chocolate egg hunt on the premises followed by egg painting and decorating. In solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues who are collecting donations to support their compatriots in need, there was also a sale of homemade cakes and cookies, which raised funds for an accredited charitable organisation with a focus on medical aid.  

Previous kids’ events in the past year have included Valentine’s Day cookie baking, a Christmas party and dressing-up at Halloween.

As more babies are born to staff, WTI is considering how to help address the issue of childcare, which is a major concern for many young researchers. Plans are afoot for a fully equipped kids’ room in which parents can babysit each other’s children when needed.

The unavailability of childcare facilities for young researchers has traditionally been one of the major problems associated with the advancement of women at the WTI.