Title

Gender differences in parental leave policy perceptions in academic departments

Department

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dept. of Psychology

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

Gender norms have a large influence on parental leave experiences, but even that influence varies situationally. Overall, men face more stigma when taking parental leave, being labeled feminine and weak workers for being distracted by familial obligations (Rudman & Mescher, 2013). At the university level, the trend continues with fewer men in general taking parental leave (Lundquist, Misra, & O'Meara, 2012). These gender differences are likely to persist in a university setting, but additional subgroup differences unique to the academic employment setting may also exist. For example, academic department may be a moderating factor, with those in STEM-related positions taking even less parental leave than those in other departments. Women in STEM departments also feel pressured to take less leave or risk falling behind in research. Overall, they receive less support than their colleagues outside of the STEM field (Schimpf et al, 2013). Department chairs, senior colleagues, and departmental norms likely play a large role in worker satisfaction when taking parental leave. This study predicts gender-based group differences, in that 1) men will be less likely than women overall to take parental leave, and 2) usage will be influenced by departmental differences. Participants will be current faculty members (across ranks) recruited from a mid-size southeastern university. Data will be collected using an anonymous online survey platform, with a measure of parental leave experiences, preferences, and departmental perceptions/stigmas associated with using parental leave policy (e.g., ease of use and comfort level), designed for this study as well as a demographic measure of characteristics such as gender, tenure vs non-tenure, and department.

Date

10-22-2016

Subject

Industrial and organizational psychology

Document Type

posters

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

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Oct 22nd, 10:00 AM Oct 22nd, 10:55 AM

Gender differences in parental leave policy perceptions in academic departments

Gender norms have a large influence on parental leave experiences, but even that influence varies situationally. Overall, men face more stigma when taking parental leave, being labeled feminine and weak workers for being distracted by familial obligations (Rudman & Mescher, 2013). At the university level, the trend continues with fewer men in general taking parental leave (Lundquist, Misra, & O'Meara, 2012). These gender differences are likely to persist in a university setting, but additional subgroup differences unique to the academic employment setting may also exist. For example, academic department may be a moderating factor, with those in STEM-related positions taking even less parental leave than those in other departments. Women in STEM departments also feel pressured to take less leave or risk falling behind in research. Overall, they receive less support than their colleagues outside of the STEM field (Schimpf et al, 2013). Department chairs, senior colleagues, and departmental norms likely play a large role in worker satisfaction when taking parental leave. This study predicts gender-based group differences, in that 1) men will be less likely than women overall to take parental leave, and 2) usage will be influenced by departmental differences. Participants will be current faculty members (across ranks) recruited from a mid-size southeastern university. Data will be collected using an anonymous online survey platform, with a measure of parental leave experiences, preferences, and departmental perceptions/stigmas associated with using parental leave policy (e.g., ease of use and comfort level), designed for this study as well as a demographic measure of characteristics such as gender, tenure vs non-tenure, and department.