ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Emotional Labor Disrupted Research Productivity During Covid

The transition to remote or hybrid work during the Covid pandemic was more disruptive to women faculty’s academic research than to men’s because of the additional caretaking work they often had to manage, a finding confirmed in several recent studies. Now, research suggests that the pandemic also disproportionately impacted women faculty (particularly Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color faculty) because of their traditional roles in providing emotional labor in their workplaces (including classrooms). Even before the pandemic, contemporary college teachers were encouraged to become more involved in their student’s emotional and mental well-being, and women faculty, in particular, engaged in such emotional labor. 

The study concludes that pandemic and post-pandemic emotional labor was more often performed by women and under-represented faculty than by their white male colleagues. According to the study’s authors, this additional labor reduced “the time and energy that they could expend on scholarship and other work demands.” Caretaking is still important post-pandemic. The key is to make such emotional labor more visible and valued, recognizing and rewarding those who perform this work. Today’s feature was shared with us by Mike Olson and the ADVANCE Advocates team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu, and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

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