Academia and the "Baby Penalty" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 06-17-2013, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Very interesting article about the effects of women choosing to have a family while pursuing a career in academia. The numbers are pretty staggering, though sadly, not surprising.

 

The article says:

 

Quote:
What makes academia so difficult for mothers? In large part it is because it is a rigid lockstep career track that does not allow for time out and which puts the greatest pressure on its aspirants in the critical early years. Most Ph.D.s are achieved and tenure granted in the critical decade between 30 and 40, the “make or break decade” as we call it. It is also the decade in which women have children, if they have them at all. Low fertility is not a coincidence among tenured women; they believed they must wait to get tenure (average age around 40) before beginning a family. The university does little to provide a more flexible career path or to put in place family responsive programs that would make it possible to balance work with babies.

 

 

Any post-doc moms out there who want to weigh in on their experience? 

 

You can find the full article here at Slate.com. 

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#2 of 2 Old 06-18-2013, 06:05 AM
 
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Disappointing. As a PhD student pregnant with my first, I did find some subtle backlash when I brought up our plans during the interview process, despite the fact that several of the women I interviewed with had their first babies while in grad school.  I suppose I'm lucky that I don't wish to stay in academia, or seek a tenure-track position at a major research university. My plans lean more towards policy development and program evaluation; hopefully those prove to be slightly less rigid.


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