30 Apr 2014
Books/ Book Chapters
Die Doktorandin: Gleichstellung an der Universität
Book chapter in 'Festgabe zum Rücktritt von Prof. Dr. Regula Kägi-Diener' by Charlotte Sieber-Gasser (WTI)
Charlotte Sieber-Gasser wrote a piece for the Festschrift for Prof. Dr. Regula Kägi-Diener, president of Women Lawyers Switzerland. The contribution discusses the general workload of PhD students in Switzerland and aims at demonstrating how the work of a doctoral student is related to a wide array of competences: it requires a high level of intellectual, personal and organisational skills.
With a view to the compatibility of family and academic career – in particular for mothers – there is still considerable scope for improvement. Doctoral students can only finish their PhD within the given timeframe, if they work fulltime. The universities generally do not yet provide for part-time doctoral positions linked with an extended timeframe for finishing the thesis. The difficulties of combining academic work with family continue also after the submission of the PhD. Since successful applications for academic positions depend to a large extent on the list of publications, working part-time – and therewith publishing less – is directly linked with the likelihood of successfully applying for an academic position. In consequence, women who wish to have children face a challenging work-life balance as long as they are employed on a temporary basis for academic work, which requires certain deliverables within a given timeframe.
The author has two sons, who were both born while she was working on her PhD. She was provided with full support by the institute and the university of Bern, and recently submitted her PhD. Since it turned out feasible to adjust the working conditions in such a way that she was able to have a family and finish her doctoral studies in time, Charlotte Sieber-Gasser calls others to follow suit and establish more family-friendly working conditions in academia.