Throughout the world, students are preparing to head back to school—whether in person, online, or through some combination of the two—for the 2022–23 academic year. Many have already started. There is no better time to negotiate with your partner to share more childcare and household duties.

According to research, 43 percent of women and 23 percent of new fathers leave full-time STEM employment after their first child. Given that most people become parents during their working lives, it is critical that those of us in STEM + fields do more to retain STEM professionals with children.

There is obviously a lot that organizations can do to support STEM + parents, but it’s also critical to tackle productive conversations at home. So, as the kids head back to school, below are six tips to get your partner to share more childcare and household duties:

  1. RECOGNIZE YOUR VALUE: Work out a win-win solution just like any other negotiation you might do at work.
  2. USE DATA: Create a list with your partner of childcare and household work with a rough estimate of the time and costs involved with each.
  3. EVALUATE WORKLOAD: Each of you should think through your work constraints and demands. Identify what you can reasonably take on yourself. Your partner should do the same.
  4. NEGOTIATE: Work together to see how you can cover all tasks while still meeting the demands of each of your jobs. Help cover each other’s preferences and weaknesses.
  5. LET GO OF PERFECTION: Accept the help even if not done the way you would perform that task.
  6. FILL OUT GAPS: Consider outsourcing if you can afford it—house cleaning, laundry, etc. Embrace knowing that not all gaps can be filled.

The bottom line. You are as important as any other member of your family, and if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anyone else. You’ve got this!


At Gotara, we always think about what makes a good and successful woman leader in STEM + careers. Our team has over 100+ years of combined working experience as women in STEM + leadership positions at companies like Amazon, General Electric, Nielsen, Hub International, and more.

We understand what STEM + women really want from their employers to stay and grow in their careers and take a holistic approach to help all stakeholders.


Become a Gotara member to gain free access to just-in-time advice designed for and by STEM+ women leaders who have been in your shoes. Not only will you find answers to questions like how to manage back to school challenges and talking to your partner about sharing the load, but you also gain 24/7 access to trusted confidential career advice in a community of over 15,000 women from 163 countries.


Explore Gotara’s comprehensive career growth platform for STEM + women to increase innovation, productivity, employee satisfaction, retention, recruiting, and grow a pipeline of leaders. Our unique approach offers:

  • Reimagined mentoring, coaching, and upskilling,
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