A must read: How to Level the Playing Field for Women in Science by Mary Ann Mason

This is a must read for anyone interested in Science / Academia: How to Level the Playing Field for Women in Science – Advice – The Chronicle of Higher Education.  By Mary Ann Mason, who is a professor at UC Berkeley and has extensive experience on studying issues relating to women in science and academia.  She details in this article four key things that can be done to reduce the “baby penalty”:

  • Better (and more) child-care options
  • Effective dual-career policies
  • Childbirth accommodations
  • Compliance with Title IX 
Definitely worth reading.  And worth checking out some of the web material from her including
(Thanks to Madhu Katti – who posted this to Facebook)

ADVANCE Blog Notes: Interesting article by Mary Ann Mason at Slate.Com "In the Ivory Tower, Men Only"

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.