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How parenthood foils STEM careers — and not just for women

By anonymous following x   2019 Mar 11, 2:23am 348 views   12 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


New research reveals some depressing trends for career-minded mothers and fathers

The sky-high cost of having a first child can also include leaving your STEM job.

About four in 10 women (43%) leave their full-time employment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics following the birth or adoption of their first child, according to research recently published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Men aren’t immune, either: 23% of new dads do the same.

New parents, the researchers write, “are significantly less likely than similar childless respondents to remain in STEM full time” — both right after having their first kid, and as that kid hits school age.

Over 10% of female STEM professionals go on to work part-time STEM jobs after having their first kid, while around 15% exit the workforce entirely.

Co-authors Erin Cech, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Mary Blair-Loy, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, used nationally representative National Science Foundation data collected from 2003 to 2010.

Just over 10% of female STEM professionals go on to work part-time STEM jobs after having their first kid, while around 15% exit the workforce entirely. That’s compared to just 2% of new dads who go part-time in STEM, and 3% who leave the workforce. What’s more, many of these STEM defectors — 18% of new fathers and 12% of new mothers — go on to work full-time jobs in non-STEM fields after becoming parents.

The findings suggest that “parenthood is an important driver of gender imbalance in STEM employment,” wrote Cech and Blair-Loy. For example, women make up just 21% of computer programmers, 16% of folks working in architecture and engineering, and 26% of those in computer and mathematical occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But it’s not just a woman problem, they added. “The difficulty that these professionals may face in balancing caregiving responsibilities with full-time STEM employment suggests that this issue is a concern for the STEM workforce broadly and not just for the retention of women,” they wrote. “Thus, scholarly and policy literature framing child-rearing responsibilities as solely a women’s problem is short-sighted.”

‘This issue is a concern for the STEM workforce broadly. Scholarly and policy literature framing child-rearing responsibilities as solely a women’s problem is short-sighted.’

Cech and Blair-Loy do offer some avenues for improvement. They point out there’s a need for paid parental leave on the legislative front, as only California, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington and the District of Columbia offer paid family-leave programs, and the federal government offers none.

Organizations can also institute better parental leave and flexibility policies, they added: Only 15% of private industry, state and local government workers enjoy paid family leave — and while the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks off, employers aren’t required to pay them.

The study co-authors further highlighted “the need for STEM leaders and employers to confront cultural beliefs that STEM professionals with caregiving responsibilities are less valuable and less committed to their professional work” than child-free colleagues.

“These findings point to the importance of cultural shifts within STEM to value the contributions of STEM professionals with children and the need for creative organizational solutions to help these skilled STEM professionals navigate new caregiving responsibilities alongside their STEM work,” Cech said in a statement.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-parenthood-foils-stem-careers-and-not-just-for-women-2019-02-21

#Parenthood #Career #STEM

1   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Mar 11, 2:27am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The Changing Career Trajectories of New Parents in STEM (6 pages)

This study investigated the role of parenthood as a mechanism of gender-differentiated attrition from STEM employment. Using a nationally representative 8-year longitudinal sample of US STEM professionals, we examined the career trajectories of new parents after the birth or adoption of their first child. We found substantial attrition of new mothers: 43% of women leave fulltime STEM employment after their first child. New mothers are more likely than new fathers to leave STEM, to switch to part-time work, and to exit the labor force.

These gender differences hold irrespective of variation by discipline, race, and other demographic factors.

However, parenthood is not just a “mother’s problem”; 23% of new fathers also leave STEM after their first child. Suggesting the difficulty of combining STEM work with caregiving responsibilities generally, new parents are more likely to leave full-time STEM jobs than otherwise similar childless peers and even new parents who remain employed full time are more likely than their childless peers to exit STEM for work elsewhere.

These results have implications for policymakers and STEM workforce scholars; whereas parenthood is an important mechanism of women’s attrition, both women and men
leave at surprisingly high rates after having children. Given that most people become parents during their working lives, STEM fields must do more to retain professionals with children

https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/116/10/4182.full.pdf
2   mell   ignore (2)   2019 Mar 11, 8:31am   ↑ like (6)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kakistocracy says
About four in 10 women (43%) leave their full-time employment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics following the birth or adoption of their first child, according to research recently published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Depressing. It should be 10 out of 10.
3   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (4)   2019 Mar 11, 9:04am   ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Maybe, instead of importing Foreigners, we could give young couples where one is working in a STEM job, a $30k Low Interest Loan. If they have 3 kids it's totally forgiven.

Instead of giving refugees, asylees, and other unskilled migrants $30k/benefits/year.
4   Quigley   ignore (0)   2019 Mar 11, 9:07am   ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yah it’s tough to agree that smart people should just forego having children because it takes too much time away from their work.

So only the idiots should breed? Know what we get when that happens? AOC! That bitch ain’t in STEM, she’s in STEAL.

So your big idea is that we should breed intelligence out of the population to be left with nothing but looters and thieves and idiots.
You do know that your kind will be the first to die off in such a Mad Max world, right?

Idiot Leftists always arguing for anarchy and destruction of civilization. All the wussy boys and feminists will be the first to die, leaving the conservatives to put this back together.
Perhaps we’ve let too many idiots subsist on our dime for too long. Left to their own devices, they’d die off as Darwin predicted.
5   d6rB   ignore (1)   2019 Mar 11, 9:28am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Interesting article and makes sense. Nowadays there is so much pressure in higher-level STEM jobs, that dropping out for a half year or year can kill your career. This especially applies to higher ranked school faculty positions. Drop out for 1/2 year and your research is outdated, you will not get research grants and will be relegated to 2nd class citizen level at university.

Don't know what to do though. 30K loan will do nothing to change situation (that is nothing even for starters - ChemE PhD's start with 150K in industry, and 100K in academia). One working parent (as opposed to two as common nowadays) would solve it, but that is not happening.
6   RC2006   ignore (0)   2019 Mar 11, 9:47am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

That's why entitlements for families need to be flipped and given to the most productive, not societies dead weight. If a choice has to be made to assist burger flipper with 3 kids or engineer that needs help with three kids the answer seems simple.
7   d6rB   ignore (1)   2019 Mar 11, 9:56am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

RC2006 says
engineer that needs help with three kids the answer seems simple.

Difficult to help engineer with 3 kids - issue is not money but time for engineer.
8   theoakman   ignore (0)   2019 Mar 11, 10:03am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

ChemE PhDs don't start 150k. I have at least a dozen friends who graduated PhD in Chem E from grad school. No one started out above 80k, unless they were a minority.
9   SunnyvaleCA   ignore (0)   2019 Mar 11, 11:42am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

theoakman says
ChemE PhDs don't start 150k. I have at least a dozen friends who graduated PhD in Chem E from grad school. No one started out above 80k, unless they were a minority.

Work in biotech in silicon valley and you'll start there with a PhD. (That being said, you won't be able to afford a house — ever — at that salary.)

Another option is to go into petroleum engineering. Even with a masters degree you can make that, but you'll be in some awful living conditions: oil rig in the middle of the ocean or some islamic hell-hole country.
10   theoakman   ignore (0)   2019 Mar 11, 11:51am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Silicon valley is.a.amall portion of the overall market
11   d6rB   ignore (1)   2019 Mar 11, 11:54am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

theoakman says
ChemE PhDs don't start 150k. I have at least a dozen friends who graduated PhD in Chem E from grad school. No one started out above 80k, unless they were a minority.

None of my PhD's who went to work at industry get less than 110K when they start, and they are Fucking White or Asian Males/females. Even BS starting salaries are over 70K (statistically avg starting salary for ChemE BS is 76K in our neck of the woods). Ones who go to work for gov't or academia get less than that, but very few do. Might be related to companies here - oil pays the best.
12   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (2)   2019 Mar 11, 12:02pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

If you are in a field where you compete against Chinese workers working 60-100 hours a week, you have to spend the time. That excludes spending it with a family.
Maybe this is ok for young people to do that, and ok for older or more fertile people to move to less competitive pastures.
We need to have people capable of doing this kind of work.

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