Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Comment
  • Published:

Planning a family

To write this article, we spoke to members of the supramolecular chemistry community, including the International Women in Supramolecular Chemistry network. We are not attributing anyone’s name to their story to protect their anonymity.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Oakley, A. From Here to Maternity: Becoming a Mother (Penguin, 1981).

  2. Wilson, H. & Huntingdon, A. Deviant (m)others: the construction of teenage motherhood in contemporary discourse. J. Soc. Policy 35, 59–76 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Slater, A. et al. Pregnancy in the lab. Nat. Rev. Chem. 6, 163–164 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Douglass, A. in Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women Scientists Speak Out (ed. Monosson, E.) 63–66 (Cornell University, 2008).

  5. Russo, C. & Minello, A. Labouring academia: higher education never-ending youth and geriatric pregnancy issues. Ital. J. Sociol. Educ. 13, 145–170 (2021).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Mason, M. A. & Ekman, E. M. Mothers on the Fast Track: How a New Generation can Balance Family and Careers (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007).

  7. Smith, D. Family-friendly science. Chemistry World (20 November 2018);

  8. Breaking the barriers: Women’s retention and progression in the chemical sciences (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019);

  9. Social Sciences Feminist Network Research Interest Group. The burden of invisible work in academia: social inequalities and time use in five university departments. Humboldt J. Soc. Relat. 39, 228–245 (2017).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Leigh, J. S. et al. Women In Supramolecular Chemistry: Collectively Crafting the Rhythms of Our Work and Lives in STEM (Policy, 2022).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emily R. Draper.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Leigh, J.S., Busschaert, N., Haynes, C.J.E. et al. Planning a family. Nat Rev Chem 6, 673–675 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing