Sunday, March 18, 2007
Hey! Good news!
And by good, I mean bad...and by bad, I mean not overly surprising...

Did you know the tenure process discriminates against women? Full story here.

Balancing family and work is one reason why achieving tenure is so difficult for women. The average age of someone applying for tenure is 33, and the review process takes about five years from the day he or she is hired at the institution. This coincides directly with when many women are considering starting families. “Fulfilling responsibilities is a 60- to 70-hour-a-week job. That’s the kind of commitment universities are looking for."... While work-life balance can be a challenge for men, too, women must handle the biological demands of pregnancy and are much more likely to become the primary caregiver for their children and the primary domestic laborer in their homes, even when both partners work full-time.

I know that balancing work and family is an issue for all career women who choose to become mothers. However, I can't help but reflect on how specifically unfair it is for academics. Not only have we been in school for ten years by the time we actually begin our careers but if we are unable to publish at a rate which is satisfactory to our institution, we have to leave. And by leave, I mean we're asked to go. You don't get to stay in un-tenured land forever. The demands of tenure are hard enough for people who don't have to give birth, breast feed, stay at home during a difficult pregnancy, etc, etc, etc.

I remember when I chose this career...one of the reasons I did was because of the "flexibility" the career provided.

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1 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Kmac. Totally had a student do an ADS on this topic last year. It's bad news for women when it comes to tenure review. Fuck the Male Academic Complex.

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