Mothers on the tenure track: what engineering and technology faculty still confront

TitleMothers on the tenure track: what engineering and technology faculty still confront
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMinerick, AR, Wasburn, MH, Young, VL
JournalEngineering Studies
Date Published2009/11/01
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1937-8629
AbstractDespite the many changes in policy and practice that colleges and universities in the United States have instituted to help women faculty achieve work life balance, challenges persist. This article discusses the difficulties still faced by female engineering and engineering technology faculty who are trying to balance the demands of a successful academic career and motherhood. The data, both qualitative and quantitative, are derived from a survey of tenure track female faculty who are members of the Women in Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Data indicate that, despite the widespread adoption of policies intended to create a more helpful and collegial environment, almost 40% of the respondents rated the quality of the institutional support they receive as fair, poor, or very poor. This research identifies policies that appear to have succeeded, and others that appear to have made little difference, suggesting structural and cultural changes that would address the continuing problems that motherhood creates for female engineering and technology faculty. Such changes could prove helpful to female faculty generally, regardless of their disciplines.