11 Recommended Resources on the Reconciliation of Family and Work

Are you interested in research on the reconciliation of family life and work? Are you looking for projects and articles about family-friendliness in academia, researchers' career paths and the issue of the leaky pipeline in science? In this post we introduce a list of key resources touching on various topics regarding the reconciliation of family and work in science. The 11 presented resources are far from being exhaustive – they should rather be understood as an invitation to join GenPORT and contribute to the growing evidence base on work-life balance and science careers.


1. INTERNET PORTAL: Familienfreundliche Wissenschaft / Family-Friendly Science

The internet portal "Familienfreundliche Wissenschaft“ provides structured information for gender equality actors, researchers and students on family-planning and scientific careers, as well as on family-friendliness at higher education institutions. The portal was first introduced at the conference „Wissenschaft – Alltag – Familie. Schritte zu einer neuen Kultur“ along with the publication of the brochure: “Familienfreundlichkeit an deutschen Hochschulen“ /Family-Friendliness at German Universities by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


2. PROJECT: FamiliesAndSocieties

What will families look like in the future? Are existing social- and family policies compatible with changes in family patterns? These and related questions are addressed in the large-scale integrating project FamiliesAndSocieties – Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations, coordinated by Stockholm University.


3. PROJECT REPORT: Familienfreundlichkeit in der Praxis Ergebnisse aus dem Projekt „Effektiv! – Für mehr Familienfreundlichkeit an deutschen Hochschulen“

This brochure serves as a collection of the research outcomes of the project „Effektiv! – Für mehr Familienfreundlichkeit an deutschen Hochschulen“ / Effektiv! – For more family-friendliness at German Universities, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS) from 01.03.2011 - 30.06.2014.


4. INTERNET PORTAL: Best Practice Club „Familie in der Hochschule“ / Family in the University

The Best Practice-Club „Familie in der Hochschule"/ Family in the University is a network of universities in Germany working closely on the integration of family-friendly measures into institutional structures at higher education institutions in Germany, collecting best-practices and exchanging practical information.


5. WORKING PAPER: Contextualizing women's academic careers: Comparative perspectives on gender, care and employment regimes in seven European countries

This report has been written as part of the GARCIA project and serves to enable GARCIA researchers to pinpoint the role of context in structuring the career opportunities for women (and men) in the early stages of academic occupations, in order to elaborate self-tailored action plans for equality, that take national, regional and cultural specificities into account.


6. ARTICLE: The Leaky Pipeline in the Swiss University System

This paper tackles the question if gender inequalities develop after the completion of a master’s degree while starting an academic career – both in a historical perspective as well as in the perspective of the life cycle of the individuals – and which factors determine the academic integration. The reconciliation of family and work in academia is also displayed as a key factor for women in the development of an academic career.


7. STUDY: Doing Science, forgoing Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of Female Scientists in Austria 

Academic women in Austria and Germany have extraordinarily high final levels of childlessness of 45-60%, as documented by prior research. This study investigates how female scientists’ fertility behaviour relates to their childbearing ideals and intentions in Austria.


8. ARTICLE: Explaining career motivation among female doctors in the Netherlands: the effects of children, views on motherhood and work-home cultures

The gender imbalance in senior medical positions is often attributed to an alleged lack of motivation on the part of female doctors, especially those with young children. Some researchers argue that an unsupportive work-home culture in the medical workplace also plays a role. This study investigates whether having children (and the age of the youngest child) affects female doctors’ career motivation and whether this relationship is mediated by views on motherhood and the supportiveness of the work-home culture.


9. STUDY: Social Norms and Mothers’ Labor Market Attachment

Increasing mothers’ labor supply is a key policy challenge in many OECD countries. Germany recently introduced a generous parental benefit that allows for strong consumption smoothing after childbirth and, by taking into account opportunity costs of childbearing, incentivizes working women to become mothers and return to the labor force rapidly. Using a sharp regression discontinuity design, this study estimates policy impacts for up to 5 years after childbirth and finds significant and striking patterns.


10. STUDY: The dual impact of gender and the influence of timing of parenthood on men’s and women’s career development: Longitudinal findings

This study investigated the impact of gender, the gender-related self-concept (agency and communion), and the timing of parenthood on objective career success of 1,015 highly educated professionals in Germany.


11. ARTICLE: La conciliation travail-famille: un enjeu complexe pour le féminisme d’État / Reconciling work and family : a complex challenge for State feminism

Although policies impacting interrelationships between family life and professional life are a key factor in women’s rights, they have long been defined in France on the basis of objectives divorced from such rights, in particular according to concerns that are family-driven, pro-birth, economic or promote the separation between Church and State. Observing the vital role of such policies in defining women’s social citizenship does, however, lead to an examination of directions taken by governmental bodies whose specific mission is to uphold women’s rights and interests and which are generally known as «State feminism ». Established from the mid-1960s onwards, these governmental structures have asserted a role in defining the policy to reconcile work and family on the basis of an outlook focused on women’s rights. However, their manner of addressing the issue has not been uniform.

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