ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Eliminating the penalties for motherhood in STEM

The COVID-19 pandemic has called attention to the impediments that women in STEM face as mothers, including a multipronged “maternal wall” with career-long ramifications. This week’s Roundup takes you to a virtual conference, “Motherhood and career retention in STEM: Systemic barriers and actionable solutions” held on May 5, 2021. The event was sponsored by Mothers in Science and features lucid summaries and original research into the challenges and structural barriers for women in STEM and in faculty careers more broadly as well as actionable solutions. A summary of the conference issues appeared in The Scientist featuring Mothers in Science co-founder Isabel Torres, a PhD in genetics and mother of four. Refreshingly, the presentation videos often reveal the presence of children, a deliberate strategy to make visible the work that must go on behind-the-scenes by academic mothers.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at ( or visit our website:

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