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Can Women Educators Have it All?

by Megan Wood, Director of Museum and Library Services, Ohio History Connection on

I really enjoy the Leadership Matters blog by Joan Baldwin and Anne Ackerson. They write on a variety of topics related to leadership in the 21st century museum environment. A recent blog post of theirs, “Can Museum Women Have it All?”, previews Women+Museums, their upcoming book on the specific difficulties of women, specifically women with families, working in a museum environment.

 

Costumed interpretor dressed as a cook in the Kitchen at Attingham Park, Shropshire.

Costumed interpretor dressed as a cook in the Kitchen at Attingham Park, Shropshire.

 

Thinking as a woman educator and interpreter in the history field, I had some additional thoughts about the complexity of this topic:

  • Educators are overwhelmingly women. Our work often takes place outside the regular hours of the work week, making child care increasingly difficult.
  • Working a programmatic schedule is not conducive to pumping (if you’re a nursing mom), juggling a family schedule, or even maintaining relationships with loved ones on a “normal” schedule.
  • There is at times, the extreme irony that many of us take much time away from our families and loved ones in order to work with families.

As I move into being more of an administrator, it is important to me that we consider quality of life, flex scheduling, and other special allowances that recognize the difficulty of consistently working on an “off” business hours schedule. I ask myself and fellow managers: how we can be kind within the context of the work in order to give benefits whenever possible?

What are other solutions? What do you see at your institution that makes the balancing act of life easier? Please leave a comment below or chime in on social media by tagging AASLH on Twitter (@AASLH) or Facebook.

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