The second IAHR coffee chat for young professional women took place on 11 February 2021. The event was organised by Dr Isabella Schalko from VAW, ETH Zurich under the auspices of the IAHR task force on Strengthening Gender Equity.
The focus of the second coffee chat was on work-life balance. Prof. Silke Wieprecht from the University of Stuttgart (Germany) and Prof. Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) shared their experiences and tricks on how to be a successful researcher, while still maintaining a healthy and sustainable work-life balance. The format of the second coffee chat was adapted to be a Webinar to allow more participants to join the discussion, resulting in nearly 100 registrations received from all over the world. Prior to the event, the participants sent more than 130 questions in advance ranging from questions related to “Time Management”, “Work and Family”, “COVID-19 related Advice”, and “Gender Equality”.
The event started with a short introduction by Prof. Silke Wieprecht and Prof. Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva and was followed by moderated discussion by Dr Isabella Schalko. The discussion ranged from “How did your work-life balance change during the pandemic?”, “How to work more efficiently and how to say no?” to “What advice do you have to tackle an ever-increasing e-mail inbox?”. Both established researchers work with daily, weekly, and sometimes even monthly To-Do lists to stay on top of their work. Prof. Silke Wieprecht tries to dedicate only 1-2 hours per day on e-mails to be able to focus on her research the rest of the time. They both aim to keep their weekends free from working to be outdoors or to spend time with friends and family.
Additional coffee chats are planned in the future with topics such as “Promotion and Tenure in Academia”, “Diversity within IAHR – how to get everyone involved”, or “Range of Career Paths”. The next event will be announced via the IAHR website and on social media.
If you have ideas for discussion topics, speakers, or other comments, please feel free to reach out to us.