There is a really interesting article at Slate.Com from Mary Ann Mason, the author of “Do Babies Matter” which I have written about here before. The post is titled “In the Ivory Tower, Men Only“. The post tells some of the background behind the book and discusses issues about graduate school, post doctoral positions, applying for faculty jobs and more. The article also has some very good guidance for universities that would like to level the playing field:
We all know what structural changes would help to level the playing field in all of these careers and they are quite similar: paid family leave for both mothers and fathers, especially for childbirth, a flexible workplace, a flexible career track, a re-entry policy, pay equity reviews, child care assistance, dual career assistance. Those universities and corporations who have actively created these policies have found an advantage in recruitment and retention. For instance, at Berkeley, after enacting several new policies to benefit parents, including paid teaching leaves for fathers, job satisfaction scored much higher among parents, and more babies are being born to assistant professors.
Some good guidance for some of the activities at UC Davis as part of the ADVANCE program in which I am involved. And she ends by recommending
It is time for women to “lean in” and demand family policies that will at least give them a fighting chance to have both a successful career and babies.
I agree. But it is also time for men to do the same. The more that men also support and demand such policies the quicker things will change.
One thought on “ADVANCE Blog Notes: Interesting article by Mary Ann Mason at Slate.Com "In the Ivory Tower, Men Only"”
I've seen at my workplace and my wife's that men taking parental leave are often given grief over it, leading to a continued unlevel playing field. Not that I have any power, but if I had my way everyone would be required to take parental leave, to eliminate this issue. i would also take away the option to “stop the tenure clock” and just make the clock always count time spent working (so it would stop automatically). These things are getting better I think, but the article is dead right that men have to stand up and own the idea that fair is fair, and we all have to play the same game. Of course, if things had been fair my wife would be even farther ahead of me 🙂