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Work-life balance - You've never had it so good?? Dr. Jessie Hey Electronics and Computer Science WiSET work-life balance event University of Southampton.

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Presentation on theme: "Work-life balance - You've never had it so good?? Dr. Jessie Hey Electronics and Computer Science WiSET work-life balance event University of Southampton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work-life balance - You've never had it so good?? Dr. Jessie Hey Electronics and Computer Science WiSET work-life balance event University of Southampton 26 June 2008

2 You've never had it so good - A few thoughts: Big plus: Facilities/financial incentives for work with children are now much better Big minus: commuting is much greater today – swallowing up time unless you use technology well Family life: once upon a time we used to write postcards home once a month or phone once a week Now we , phone, text, webcam, And Facebook, Flickr, fly to meet up A quotation by Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister. Origin: In 1957, Harold Macmillan, made a speech in Bedford, UK, to his fellow Conservatives in which he gave the opinion that "Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good". In the speech he celebrated the success of Britain's post-war economy while at the same time urging wage restraint and warning against inflation. He was mimicking the line of the US Democratic Party which used 'You never had it so good' as a slogan in the 1952 US election campaign. Seems appropriate for a UK/US family life approaching a life of eco-restraint (we have a hybrid car at least on both sides of the Atlantic!)

3 Looking back I will just look back and reflect a little at how things were for us as a family Childcare and flexible working have changed out of all recognition It should, in principle, be easier for you!

4 Oxford and Oxfordshire days Undergraduate: Physics – practicals - more time working than arts 2 nd year – no exams – time to play hard too 3 rd year – work hard, play hard – croquet on the college lawn before finals Summer commuting to Harwell lab near Oxford by bus Certificate of Education – stricter hours (at least in principle) - treated more like a teenager than grown-up student Teaching – shorter set hours but marking and preparation - flexible (if time consuming for new teacher) 1 st experience of regular commuting out of town

5 Caltech, Caterpillar, CERN Poor but fun and time to explore… 2 years in Los Angeles - husband had Harkness Fellowship – little money but a car to travel around the US ambassadors for Britain but hiking, camping, mountaineering – a wonderful way to see America, make friends Couldn’t use my teaching qualification in US My jobs – from nanny to ‘pre digital librarian’ on Physics faculty project at Caltech Climbed Mt Whitney, Mt Rainier… more later 2 years in Geneva – working for Caterpillar – poor (by International organisation standards) but good for expanding French, working and living in centre of Geneva Working at CERN – ‘librarian’ – poorish, wonderful experience for future library career, service hours but playing hard: hiking, skiing….. Library team won the round CERN race Sometimes get a chance to go back again to workshops!

6 Studying again for a profession… Diploma in Library and Information Studies At North London Poly Had to commute to London from Southampton (2 hours commute to attend a 9 o’clock lecture but commuters from Southampton were few then)

7 Working as a professional Followed by working to be a Chartered librarian (now called MCLIP) and beyond Deputy Librarian at Southampton Institute of Higher Education (Southampton Solent University) Working set hours – gave time to work on the new house and attend German evening classes, and go to the film club after an evening duty Southampton Solent University, previously known as Southampton Institute, obtained its university title in August We have 16,000 students.

8 The New World No option then of part-time after baby so took opportunity to enjoy new experiences -went on sabbatical to Boston (husband at MIT for a semester) Back to Caltech for sabbatical with 2 nd child 2 years later Back to New York State with 3 rd child several years later

9 Managing libraries and researching digital library services Manager Library and Learning Centre for IBM UK Labs – the short anti-commute for 12 years Nannies needed – managers only worked full time Secondment after maternity leave setting up child care information services in Hampshire – more flexible University of Southampton – library user services – working service hours Then digital library projects and part time PhD – flexible but open ended Still a little time to run the odd marathon or half

10 Kids growing up – need job to be still quite close to home Husband’s job expands from Southampton To UK – director e-Science core programme – lots of travel To US – VP Technical Computing Initiative Microsoft and then Microsoft Research with additional Seattle base and more global travel

11 From Southampton to Seattle via 3 kids A European – US axis of life Childcare almost finished after 30 years! Expanding horizons eg Xmas in Seattle Now we get to see the mountain we climbed when we were 24 from our house on the lake Photos: Olympics, US home and Mt Rainier Nancy Hey on Flickr

12 Working at keeping the work-LIFE balance Taking the kids and now the spouses! – they seem to have inherited the enthusiasm for mountains and wild places Taking advantage of Alaska Airlines flying from our Seattle home

13 Sorry I’m not here today In Seattle for the Farewell Event for Bill Gates Web-camming Southampton yesterday morning 5.30am for EdSpace project meeting Working from the study by Lake Washington Never quite get the work-life balance right but wonderful opportunities for us and the kids And work can be rather like the rest – the recent Learning Societies Lab away day!


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