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Maternal Longings Slow Women Scientists

Maternal Longings Slow Women ScientistsNew research discovers the desire for motherhood is often the limiting factor for fast-tracking women scientists, not performance or gender bias.

The new study by Cornell University scientists revealed that women with advanced degrees in math-intensive academic fields drop out of fast-track research careers primarily because they want children.

“Motherhood — and the policies that make it incompatible with a tenure-track research career — take a toll on women that is detrimental to their professional lives. Even just the plan to have children in the future is associated with women exiting the research fast-track at a rate twice that of men,” report Cornell human development professors Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci.

The study is found in the journal American Scientist .

“It is time for universities to move past thinking about underrepresentation of women in science solely as a consequence of biased hiring and evaluation, and instead think about it as resulting from outdated policies created at a time when men with stay-at-home wives ruled the academy,” said Williams.

For the study, Williams and Ceci analyzed data related to the academic careers of women and men with and without children in academic fields, including math-heavy ones.

They found that before becoming mothers, women have careers equivalent to or better than men’s.

“They are paid and promoted the same as men, and are more likely to be interviewed and hired in the first place,” Williams said.

Source: Cornell University

Maternal Longings Slow Women Scientists

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Maternal Longings Slow Women Scientists. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/02/16/maternal-longings-slow-women-scientists/34906.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.