All Work and No Play in Academia
Authors Mary Ann Mason, Nicholas H. Wolfinger, and Marc Goulden discuss the difficulties of achieving work-life balance in academia in their book Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower. Faculty positions often require demanding hours to fulfill pretenure obligations to conduct research, publish, write grants, and teach multiple courses each semester. As Linda Berg-Cross and Tiffany Brown note in their review of the book, the authors contend that women with children are particularly burdened by pretenure expectations, evidenced by the fact that women in the sciences who have children under the age of six are less likely to receive tenure compared with their male and childless female counterparts. Several “family-friendly” policies are recommended in the book, including tenure-clock stoppage for childbirth, paid parental leave, part-time tenure track appointments, and modified duties for parents after childbirth.
Why doesn’t academia have more progressive policies that promote work-life balance? Should academia be ahead of the corporate world in this regard? Are female faculty with children indeed at a greater disadvantage than others when it comes to achieving tenure?
By Linda Berg-Cross and Tiffany Brown
PsycCRITIQUES, 2014 Vol 59(8)