Eight days a week": a national snapshot of academic mothers' realities in Canadian psychology departments

McCutcheon, J. M. and M. A. Morrison (2016). ""Eight days a week": a national snapshot of academic mothers' realities in Canadian psychology departments." Canadian Psychology-Psychologie Canadienne 57(2): 92-100.

Contemporary research on women in academia suggests that faculty women who become mothers often find themselves in disadvantaged positions compared with academic fathers and their nonparenting male and female counterparts. Limited empirical attention has been directed toward understanding the barriers reported by women faculty, particularly those within Canadian academic settings. To address this omission, we analysed data from 275 psychology faculty members (190 women, 85 men) across 69 psychology departments within Canadian colleges and universities. We investigated the differential experiences of academic mothers and academic fathers in relation to their research output, time spent on workplace and household tasks, and work-family conflict. Results indicated that academic mothers spend significantly more time on childcare than academic fathers, despite having significantly fewer children, and they report significantly more work-family conflict. As well, women, regardless of parental status, had significantly lower research output than men. This comparative study of psychology faculty men and women provides insight about the disparities that exist between academic mothers and fathers. Drawing from the findings, recommendations for improved institutional supports are identified and discussed.

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