Higher Education

Forget the glass ceiling: women are still climbing the ivory tower

Women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to attaining high-ranking academic positions, writes Mary Ann Mason for Slate. Mason, a Berkeley law professor, is the author of “Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower.” You don't need to read the book to reach her answer: the  article states unequivocally that babies are a factor in promotions. Because of family considerations, women, even those who forgo family life, are resigned to “second tier” positions such as junior faculty and adjunct professors. Sometimes female academics quit before they really even start to develop a career, cognizant of the challenges. In a survey of Berkeley doctoral students, 70 percent of women said faculty careers at research universities are “not friendly to family life.” “For women, each child reduces her pay. This is mostly as a cumulative effect from time and money lost earlier,” notes Mason, but she attests that structural changes to ensure equity would go a long way towards fixing the situation.

Read it at Slate

June 19, 2013 1:15 PM