Never Enough? Female Early Career Researchers With Children In The COVID19-Pandemic Reconciling Academic And Domestic Responsibilities

Köpping, MariaORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7221-2430 and Wiesböck, LauraORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8741-7922 (2023) Never Enough? Female Early Career Researchers With Children In The COVID19-Pandemic Reconciling Academic And Domestic Responsibilities. 29th International Conference of Europeanists, June 27-29, 2023, University of Iceland | Reykjavik, Iceland.

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Abstract

The unequal gendered impact of parenthood on academic careers poses a crucial challenge in patriarchal university structures. Studies documenting a decline in women’s scientific publications suggest that the pandemic may have exacerbated existing inequalities. Mothers employed on temporary contracts are particularly vulnerable to experiencing long-term career harms due to increased care workload and a resulting failure to meet performance targets.

The aim of the CAREDEMIA study is to investigate experiences and career trajectories of female early career researchers with children in the COVID-19 pandemic. Our qualitative analysis draws from 15 problem-centred interviews with mothers employed on temporary prae doc or post doc contracts at one of Vienna’s public universities. The research project is funded by the City of Vienna and the Vienna Chamber of Labour.

The results demonstrate perceived institutional pressure to perform at a consistently high level despite challenging circumstances such as higher workload due to digital teaching and constraints in field research. At the same time, interviewees report perceptions of retraditionalization in couple relationships as well as increasing demands in caregiving and emotional labour within and also outside the household level, e.g. from students, colleagues, or siblings. The analysis reveals shifts in career prospects and a redefinition of priorities in the personal, professional and family sphere. Overall, our study provides evidence that motherhood and the pursuit of a long-term academic career may have become even less compatible in the course of the pandemic.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Organiser: CES Council for European Studies
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Education and Employment
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2023 05:46
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2023 05:46
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/6421

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