Dr. Mavis Boimah
The researcher at the Thünen Institute of Market Analysis lives on two continents.
Mavis Boimah has just spent a month with her family in Ghana. For the past three years, she has been living two lives: her professional life in Braunschweig at the Thünen Institute of Market Analysis and her family life in Ghana. In fact, she regularly commutes between Ghana, Germany and Senegal, which she visits regularly for the IMMPEX project, just like her home country. On the ground, she interviews poultry and dairy value chain actors and stakeholders, as well as consumers, with the goal of understanding the impact of dairy and poultry imports on developing countries. The data form the basis for advising, for example, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture on international trade policy.
"I've always wanted to make a bigger contribution to evidence-based policy solutions to the world's most pressing problems - climate change, sustainability and fairness in global agriculture. It's just a shame that my family doesn't live in Germany, too." Her husband and three children live in Accra, Ghana's capital city. Mavis Boimah studied agricultural economics there and then earned her doctorate. She sees her family for a month about every six months. Back in Braunschweig, she participates live in family life every day thanks to video chat.
Even though the goodbyes and long periods of separation are hard, she sees the positive: "I can pursue my dream job. And I appreciate the fair and clear structures in Germany. My path is also a valuable experience for the whole family." Despite the challenges, she can imagine continuing to work in Germany. "In the best case, as a family. It would be great if there was more support for raising families.
My advice to "Women Science": don't underestimate yourself! Build confidence, connect with other women in the field who you see as role models, and celebrate every milestone. Every contribution, no matter how small, is important to science. Balancing family life and career is difficult, but with good prioritization, you can find a good balance."