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ERIC Number: EJ903572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1938-9809
Reconciling the Tension between the Tenure and Biological Clocks to Increase the Recruitment and Retention of Women in Academia
Clark, Catherine D.; Hill, Janeen M.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2010 n2 2010
Most women entering tenure-track positions in the sciences do so in their late twenties or early thirties after completing a graduate degree and post-doctoral training. Tenure-track positions usually span a six or seven year probationary period during which time institutions expect unlimited commitment from the tenure-track candidates to their work. Most tenure-track candidates are overwhelmed by this onerous expectation, but research shows that women are particularly affected by this expectation. Women tend to shoulder more family responsibilities than men especially if women are members of a family unit with at least one child, and women, who aspire to have children, are faced with the difficult decision to bear children and potentially compromise tenure or to delay child-bearing until tenure is achieved and face age-related risk factors associated with maternal and fetal outcomes. Previous research has shown that women in tenure-track positions in science disciplines at research-intensive (R-1) institutions are more likely to acquire tenure if they are unmarried and/or are childless than their married peers with children, thus, the issues of family responsibilities and child-bearing have real consequences for women in science. The purpose of our study is to determine if these issues have consequences for women in academic science at masters-level institutions, which require tenure-track faculty to develop a productive research agenda as well as demonstrate excellence in teaching. We discuss the implications such consequences will have on the future of women in science in the United States unless universities grapple seriously with an environment that may unintentionally force women to choose between an academic career in science or marriage and motherhood. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A