Late one Friday, in November 2008, I hit send. I knew it was poorly worded but my email was gone.
“Not sure where I put your last email – but just wondering if you still needed applicants for this position?”
I began as the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) Book Review Editor for the journals Austral Ecology (AE), and Ecological Management and Restoration (EMR), in March. My third child was ~4 weeks old. Was I insane? Perhaps. Thanks to the previous editor, Ian Lunt, I was well equipped – his description of the role was detailed and methodical. I still use his guidelines and what few questions I had were quickly responded to. I was ready.
My reasons for wanting the role were partly selfish. My post-doc had wound up, and given we were still collecting data, there were few papers on the radar (>20 have generated from the project since). I’d gone back to work 5 months after my eldest was born, so it wasn’t as if I couldn’t work. However, finding work in ecology was getting harder, and moving wasn’t an option. How many women do you know in ecology who work part-time/full-time with 3 or more children? I realised I now walked around with a label on my forehead – “she has three children”. I needed my career label to cover the label that now says “OMG now she has 4 children – she definitely can’t do it!” I needed to keep ‘in the loop’ and this was one way. Continue reading