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.
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!!”
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!! pic.twitter.com/1R7QKprOLr
— Troy Littleton (@JTroyLittleton) May 7, 2021
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?”
Well that little tweet blew up?!? However, I wish people were able to spot the real hero here. It's the graduate student mom, not me. She's amazing to do all she has to with her daughter and still keep up her thesis project research. Happy Mother’s Day to all – they deserve it!
— Troy Littleton (@JTroyLittleton) May 9, 2021
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?
Of course she is doing an amazing job and having a supportive supervisor like you will always be remembered by her. I would be forever grateful!
— Karen Campos-León (@karencamposl) May 9, 2021
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.
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