Academic mothers are just one segment of the working population that have had their work disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have been required to shift their personal and professional obligations during the past year. While the challenges presented by the pandemic are unprecedented, the question of work-life balance has been a perennial concern for mothers in different parts of academia. What the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare is the critical need for strategies and tools to help academic mothers. Due to limited resources available for many academic mothers, Profess*Her is designed to provide one avenue for support to academic mothers in their professional and personal growth.
Our first objective is to connect academic mothers through establishing a free database based on disciplinary interests and project goals. To be clear, this database is only used to support academic mothers and will NEVER be used in any commercial way. Academic mothers' personal information will only be used to connect mothers with others. In addition to connecting mothers based on their professional backgrounds and work, we hope to also host talks, workshops, and other relevant events in the future. We also aim to listen to mothers to identify other ways to ensure they feel supported in their work.
While as academic mothers we aim to offer mutual support for one another, it is critical for institutions, different levels of government, and places of employment to assume leadership and provide support for academic mothers. The first step includes recognizing their own obligation to increase their commitment to help academic mothers to achieve their professional goals.