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
Chancellor Joe Steinmetz and Big Red wish the U of A community a relaxing and safe Spring Break this week.
The Arkansas Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi received the Chapter Excellence Award, the Chapter Project Award, and Honorable Mention for the R.H. Nagel Most Improved Chapter Award.
The Teacher Education Career Fair is for all students seeking employment opportunities within the education industry. It will be from 3:30-5:30 p.m. April 2 at the Arkansas Union Verizon Ballroom.
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