Tag: Caregivers

All forms of caregiving including children and elderly.

EEOC and Caregiver Employment Discrimination

From the EEOC Newsroom: EEOC Releases Information about Employment Discrimination Against Caregivers.
Although this article references COVID-19 situations specifically, discrimination based on a protected characteristics is always prohibited by federal and state laws/regulations. ADVANCE has written about the impacts COVID has had on caregivers in STEM. Articles of particular note are from July 31, 2020, March 10, 2021, and November 12, 2021. Michigan Tech’s Equal Opportunity Compliance and Title IX Office has a lot of resources available including the Protected Class Groups web page, the Equal Opportunity and Notice of Non-Discrimination web page, and lists of the federal/state laws and Michigan Tech policies. If you have any questions, please visit their website.

ADVANCE Roundup: Institutional Ideas for Responding to Faculty Exhaustion and Demoralization

Although the early years of the pandemic are behind us, and we are beginning to adjust to a “new normal” in our classrooms, labs, and professional activities, faculty continue to report feeling exhausted and over-stressed. Two recent essays in Inside Higher Ed suggest unique institutional responses: a “Chapter 11” work relief declaration and a return to values and workload equity redesign. The Chapter 11 suggestion was made by an anonymous faculty caregiver overwhelmed by unrelenting teaching and academic demands that she could not fulfill following an official two-week hiatus necessitated by her child’s health crisis. This was not simply a personal problem; she argues that faculty are “like lemmings walking off a cliff of overwork” with the requirements for career advancement ever-increasing, an expansion of committee and administrative tasks, and constant pivots, instructional up-dates, and altered expectations for teaching. The author proposes a “Chapter 11” for faculty that would allow overwhelmed colleagues to step away from some of these responsibilities. Too often, we just watch each other struggle. 

In the other article, Doug Lederman describes a state of faculty “demoralization” characterized by detachment, cynicism, and dissatisfaction, provoked by a discrepancy between espoused values like equity, care, and deep learning and enacted values that tend more to system preservation and economic goals. Added to this is the realization that a faculty career is changing given current and future constraints—less job security, more surveillance and accountability, diminished institutional flexibility, a paucity of faculty resources. Instead, a mythic ideal is upheld as a standard for faculty performance requiring constant availability, unquestioning loyalty, no caregiving distractions, and bodies that never falter.

There is considerable evidence that experiences of exhaustion and demoralization often jeopardize the progress of women caregivers in STEM, especially those with children (see, for example, these two recent publications–”Preventing a Secondary Epidemic of Lost Scientists” and “Voices of Untenured Female Professors in STEM”). Lederman argues that these issues impact recruitment and retention, undermining institutional goals of faculty equity and diversity and points out that campus culture has a critical impact on institutional competitiveness both for talent and institutional reputation. He urges university leadership to gather data on workplace conditions (note the ADVANCE AFEQT tool), measure workload inequities, update systems of reward and accountability, and reconfigure administrative systems to uphold core cultural values. We hope that innovative responses like a faculty “Chapter 11” or institutional reconfigurations around deep values can catalyze a shift in the culture of academe toward more humane priorities and an institutional redesign that is more inclusively responsive.

Today’s feature was shared with us by Dr. Jennifer Slack (IPEC, Humanities) and the ADVANCE PI 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.

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 (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

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 advance-mtu@mtu.edu 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 (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Gender Matters: The Unique Challenges Facing Women in Education

Gendered expectations impact nearly every aspect of our professional and personal lives, but we can learn to push back against biases.  This is what Jennie Weiner, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut, addresses as the guest on Harvard Graduate School of Education’s EdCast with Jill Anderson.  Dr. Weiner is also the co-author of The Strategy Playbook for Educational Leaders (Routledge, 2020). She discusses the gendering of teaching versus leadership roles in American educational institutions (from K-12 to higher ed), the effects of gendered home and caretaking roles on education professionals (especially during the pandemic), and the role of intersectionality in addressing the complex systems of inequity in education work.  The podcast recording and transcript of the discussion are available

Today’s feature was shared with us by ADVANCE Advocates and Allies. 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.
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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: The ongoing challenge of childcare availability that has been heightened by the pandemic.

The pandemic has heightened awareness of the challenges of access to quality child care at campuses around the country, and the inequities that result when this child care is not available. This is not a new challenge, but it is one that universities are clearly going to need to help address to retain quality faculty, staff and students. For this weekly roundup, we are drawing attention to the Graduate Student Government report on childcare needs at Michigan Tech that was shared recently in Tech Today. Since it was shared during a busy week at the end of the semester, we wanted to be sure to give people a second opportunity to review it.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI 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.
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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Unintended effects of gender-neutral tenure policies

Policies that allow for pauses in the tenure clock have been discussed as a potential solution to the gender disparities observed in faculty promotion, such as those which have become more evident during the pandemic. But what evidence do we have that these policies produce desirable outcomes? A 2018 study using aggregated economics department data revealed that adoption of gender-neutral tenure clock stopping policies actually led to a decrease of 19% in women faculty obtaining tenure, while men obtaining tenure increased by 17%. These results “imply that gender-neutral tenure clock stopping policies do not adequately account for the true gender-specific productivity losses associated with having children,” thereby actually worsening the problem they are attempting to fix. It behooves us to examine whether our own university policies are adequately designed to correct the imbalances and achieve their desired outcomes.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the MTU 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.
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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

Mothers Rebuild: Solutions to Overcome COVID-19 Challenges

by Allison Mills, University Marketing and Communications

Over the summer and fall, paper after paper revealed that mothers are one of the demographics hardest hit by the pandemic. From layoffs and leaving careers to do caretaking, to submission rate decreases and additional service projects, the data were clear, but the follow up less so. Many of the problems are not new and will remain after the pandemic. But a new paper, published this week in PLOS Biology, outlines methods to help solve them.

“In the spirit of the well-worn adage ‘never let a good crisis go to waste,’ we propose using these unprecedented times as a springboard for necessary, substantive and lasting change,” write the paper’s 13 co-authors, including Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci), who helped lead the paper’s section addressing professional societies. She sees the work through her lens as an ecosystem ecologist.

“Some of my most recent work has been around cascading and indirect effects and how effects viewed on short time scales may have very different outcomes at long time scales,” Marcarelli said. “What I’ve learned from that research is that you can’t abstract a single characteristic of an organism and expect that to explain its ecological role. And [in academia] we try so often to treat ourselves as researchers — and not as mothers and partners and daughters and leaders — and that’s to the detriment of all of us. It’s to the detriment of us as individuals but it’s also to the detriment of our academic system because if we don’t treat people as whole people then we fail them.”

Marcarelli joined researchers who are also parents to outline ways to help mothers recover and rebuild academic careers during and after the pandemic. Read their solutions on mtu.edu/news and follow the conversation with @mturesearch on Twitter.

February 18 2021 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on all aspects of academia. An article from Science reports that recent studies indicate that the pandemic’s impact has hit academic mothers particularly hard. It has exacerbated existing disparities and created further challenges for women, including significant loss of time dedicated to research. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features this article which encourages the use and consideration of COVID-19 impact statements in current and post-pandemic tenure and promotion reviews.

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.

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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

October 30, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

If the weather of late has told us anything it’s that Heikke Lunta has awakened. With winter weather just around the corner and COVID-19 disruptions continuing, ADVANCE at Michigan Tech dedicates this week’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup to the updated University policy on Children in the  Workplace. This policy has been updated in recent years and we encourage employees to be aware of both this policy as well as policies regarding visitors under the MTU Flex plan.

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.

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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

August 28, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

The efforts of faculty parents to balance work and childcare has recently been brought back into the spotlight given the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an urgent need for strong institutional responses to alleviate the additional burdens of limited childcare facilities. Retention of faculty and staff parents is highly dependent upon our community supporting all members through trying times for long-term productivity of the institution. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from Inside Higher Education that outlines examples of strong institutional responses. ADVANCE at Michigan Tech is working on small interactive educational activities for children during our programming. Contact the ADVANCE Resource Center to learn more.

Today’s article was shared by Adrienne Minerick, Dean of the College of Computing. 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.

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. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.