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'Atmosphere-Related'

Both men and women in science are affected by issues related to work-life balance, a new survey says. "More than half of the survey's 4,225 respondents said work demands conflict with their personal lives at least two to three times a week," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, citing data from the Association for Women in Science-commissioned analysis, underwritten by Elsevier. Among the worldwide respondents, 64 percent were employed in academia, while the remainder said they work in industry or at nonprofit or government institutes. "Forty-eight percent of women are unhappy with the way their work life meshes with their personal life, compared with 39 percent of men," the Chronicle notes.

Donna Dean, who provided a preliminary analysis of the survey data, tells the Chronicle that work-life balance in science "is not a gender issue," but rather, that it is "atmosphere-related. … Both men and women are struggling with this." Still, male and female scientists are affected differently. "Nearly 40 percent of women said they short-circuited their childbearing plans, compared with 27 percent of men who said their careers stood in the way of starting a family," the Chronicle says.

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