Organization of Women Faculty

OWF Fall Colloquium
Friday, November 9
2 to 3:30pm
Campus Center Assembly Hall (Uptown Campus)
Reception to follow

Fall ColloquimWe are pleased to welcome Roberta Spalter-Roth, Director, Research and Development Department, American Sociological Association for the OWF fall colloquium. Dr. Spalter-Roth is well-known for her work on work-family life.

“Integrating Rhythms: Policies for Women Faculty’s Careers and Family Lives.”

What are the strategies that can help to integrate the often-conflicting rhythms of two greedy institutions, academic careers and family responsibilities? As of 2003, more than 4 out of 10 faculty members were women, although only one-quarter were full professors.

According to widely cited research, having children has negative effects on mother’s as opposed to father’s academic careers, and many women who want highly productive and successful academic careers do not have children or have fewer children than they would like.

Those who do have children are caught between the two greedy institutions, each requiring undivided attention. Each has its own rhythms and requirements with many women failing to thrive in environments that reward youthful PhDs, quick publication, and six-year tenure clocks. A recent survey suggests that childbirth, childcare, and partner’s job change have negative affects on women’s academic careers. In contrast, publishing requirements, teaching loads, and the tenure review process are career requirements that have negative effects on families.

Please join Spalter-Roth and your faculty colleagues for a thought provoking presentation and discussion of these findings and what it means for institutions.

About Dr. Roberta Spalter-Roth

Roberta M. Spalter-Roth, Ph.D. is the Director of the Research and Development Department, American Sociological Association. She completed her B.A. in Sociology at Indiana University, all credits towards an M.A. in Sociology at University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Ph.D. in Sociology at American University. Prior to ASA, she studied women and industrial displacement at the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, and, for ten years, she was the Director of Research, Institute for Women's Policy Research where she studied work-family policies, welfare reform, and unemployment insurance.

Along with Dr. Heidi Hartmann, Dr. Spalter-Roth was responsible for the earliest research that resulted in the national Family and Medical Leave Act, Unnecessary Losses: The Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave (the Institute for Women’s Policy Research). Two recent publications concerning work/family issues among academics include “Parents on the Job Market” (The American Sociologist) and The Distribution and Use of Work-Family Policies” (Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning).

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