Biology Professor Coauthors Opinion Piece on 'The Baby Penalty' for Women Scientists
Is there a "baby penalty" for women scientists? The Working Group of Mothers in Science believes the answer is yes, especially when it comes to being able to attend scientific conferences and proceedings, which are crucial to career advancement.
Sarah DuRant, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is a member of Mothers in Science and a coauthor of "How to Tackle a Childcare-Conference Conundrum," written with Rebecca M. Calisi of the University of California, Davis, and published March 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The opinion piece lays out the case for the baby penalty — research that shows having young children negatively affects women's career mobility but not men's, and that women of color suffer the largest penalties — and offers possible solutions to the problem. Steps such as providing childcare at home or at the event, providing travel money so caregivers can attend, allowing "babywearing" (keeping infants close during proceedings), family-friendly dates and venues, etc., could help diversity conferences and ultimately improve science itself, the authors argue.
"It (would send) the clear message to future generations of researchers that science is a place for everyone, one that takes equity seriously, and one that recognizes the multifaceted roles and responsibilities researchers bring with them to conferences," the article concludes.
The Department of Biological Sciences is part of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
Bob Whitby, feature writer
The U of A is one of 20 public research universities added to a collaborative coalition aimed at enhancing faculty diversity and implementing inclusive practices in the STEM disciplines.
Numerous students seek information from Transit and Parking for classroom assignments in engineering or stories destined for student media on campus.
Two new team members recently joined the Development and External Relations team in Fulbright College, Robert Hopper in development and Michael Stoker in creative services.
Student innovation teams will pitch ideas for funding and seek advice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, Nov. 13, at the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub on the Fayetteville Square.
Facilities Management is hosting its fifth annual Chili Cook-off to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week from 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday in the Facilities Management Carpenter Shop.