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I write to express my agreement with BA Stewart (N C E last week), except I have never been able to see why I could not be a fulltime mother and an engineer - at different stages of my life.

A chartered engineer, I retired when my daughter was born, and have worked part time since she started school. This has not been easy, and has been achieved through obstinacy and loss of status on my part, although my managers have never expressed any dissatisfaction with my work.

I have come to the conclusion that this profession welcomes women, so long as they behave like men. This is at a time when we are told male confrontational attitudes are outdated! There is also an assumption within our society that preparing children for adult life can be achieved in small bursts of 'quality' time.

I am sure that with imagination we could have a society and profession that recognises that its children are its most valuable natural resource and hope for the future.

Mrs B J Harrison (M), 9 Mulberry Court, Huntington, York, YO32 9TU

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