MIT professor shares his ‘favorite new equipment’ in his lab and it’s seriously great

Childcare challenges that women are facing in the workplace have been well-documented during the pandemic, so it isn’t news for most people. 

And as one of the only countries in the world without guaranteed paid parental leave as well as one without widely subsidized childcare, parents in the U.S. often find themselves having to struggle with childcare costs and making difficult choices between family and work.

In academia, where students are setting their career goals, finding ways to balance family life and studies on a low salary is also a tough battle and this is why an MIT professor’s picture of a genius addition to his workplace has people all over the web in awe.

Professor Troy Littleton. Image MIT

Troy Littleton, a Professor of biology at MIT, shared an image of a portable crib placed in between a desk and a cabinet and wrote:

“My favorite new equipment purchase for the lab – a travel crib to go in my office so my graduate student can bring her 9-month old little girl to work when necessary and I get to play with her while her mom gets some work done. Win-win!!”

Many people online complimented the professor and some even shared stories of how their own professors or bosses had supported them and their kids in similar ways.

And while bringing a baby to a workplace would hardly be viable under most circumstances, having an option that allows it to work when it can, makes all the difference in the world.

People outside of the United States even asked questions like:

“Don’t you have paid leave when you have a baby?” and “You mean there aren’t free childcare facilities on-site?”

This shed even more light on the fact that this childcare/career balancing problem is largely unique to America.

Like many inspirational stories of people stepping up to fill dark voids with kindness, professor Littleton’s post almost seems a bit saddening considering some of the comments that followed. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could structure our systems to be more family-friendly overall?

Simultaneously, his inspirational deed illustrates a sense of understanding and compassion our world seems to be on the verge of abandoning.

Let us all be thankful to people like professor Littleton, for being examples of positivity and opening people’s minds to what is possible.

What are your thoughts on this inspirational story? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve found it of value.

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