Mama is an Academic was started in June, 2017. Julia and Lucie had a bit of a chat about how sharing experiences was invaluable in navigating an academic career as a mother. A website with a blog was suggested. Both contacted their own networks of academic mothers and asked for input. The website grew and took off. The faculty of sustainability at Leuphana University saw the value in the initiative, and provided a grant for administrative support.
Julia Leventon is a junior professor in sustainability science at Leuphana University, Germany. She is mother to a 2 year old and a 2 month old (true in May 2018). Julia went on her first maternity leave as a research associate, and returned as a junior professor – resulting in much craziness, angst, stress and tears, but also a much greater level of empowerment for pushing for flexibility. Mama is an Academic was launched at the beginning of her second maternity leave.
Lucie Middlemiss is an associate professor in sustainability at the University of Leeds. She has two children, age 3 and 6 and maternity leaves feel like a distant dream. She works four days a week, and is currently juggling co-leadership of her research institute (Sustainability Research Institute), the usual research and teaching load, and managing her 3 year-old’s as yet undiagnosed disability. Balls are being dropped!
Katy Roelich is an academic fellow at the University of Leeds, UK. She is mother to an 18-month old. Katy went on maternity leave just after getting her first tenure track position, which gave greater security but also much higher expectations. Balancing these expectations with her own expectations about academia and motherhood is a constant preoccupation.