Academic Careers and Parenthood: A Generational and Gender Comparison

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Marta VOHLÍDALOVÁ, Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Rep., Czech Republic
Since 2008 the Czech system of research and innovation (R&I) has increasingly promoted a managerial model oriented toward measuring research performance and enhancing the competitiveness. This went hand in hand with decreasing long-term institutional funding and increasing work insecurity. This has had a major impact on research organizations and individual careers alike. Since the current transformation of R&I has developed around the ideal of a masculine career model which is free from any care obligations in the private sphere it influences parents’ (and particularly women’s) careers and their possibility to combine parenthood with career progress. The qualitative analysis comparing the careers in R&I of women whose career developed before 1989 and young women academics today, underscore many differences in coping strategies and perceptions of and values associated with work-life conflict and its everyday management in the workplace (Vohlídalová 2017). The paper further discusses the impact of parenthood on the course of academic careers in the context of neoliberal transformation of R&I and investigates generational and gender differences, as well as differences between various research domains. The analysis is based on a unique representative on-line survey including 2,089 Czech academics collected in 2017. The study enriches the contemporary state of the art with findings from the cultural environment of a post-communist country characterized by a combination of a relatively strong gender conservativism, where the issue of gender equality in science is not addressed in R&I policies as a relevant issue and where there is a strong pressure on Western standards of science and scientific excellence.

Vohlídalová, M. (2017) “The work paths of women in science before 1989 and today” In Vohlídalová, M., Linková, M. (eds) Gender and Neoliberalism in Czech Academia. Praha: Sociologické nakladatelství SLON (in press)