Careers of Female Early-Stage Researchers with Childcare Responsibilities in the COVID19-Pandemic

Wiesböck, LauraORCID: (2023) Careers of Female Early-Stage Researchers with Childcare Responsibilities in the COVID19-Pandemic. XX ISA World Congress of Sociology, June 25-July 1, 2023, Melbourne, Australia.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a decline in women's scientific publications as well as a decline in women's first authorship of publications, and therewith a decline in accomplishments that are central to a successful university career. The hypothesized explanatory context is that female scientists with children were forced to spend more time with caring, raising, and homeschooling. A pandemic-induced increase in caregiving may result in significant career harms for researchers with fixed-term prae doc or post doc contracts, such as reduced opportunities for follow-up employment or the loss of grants due to failure to meet performance agreements.
The central interest of the CAREDEMIA study is to investigate career trajectories and perspectives of female early-stage scientists with children in need of care in Vienna in the context of intensified unpaid care work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is funded by City of Vienna and the Vienna Chamber of Labour. The methodological design consists of 15 problem-centered interviews (PCI) with female researchers with temporary prae doc or post doc contracts at one of the nine public universities in Vienna.
The results demonstrate processes of retraditionalization in relationships (“couple fellowships”), the institutional expectation of a consistent level of work performance, a higher workload, e.g. in the form of unpaid work for preparing online classes, a higher demand of caregiving and emotional labor even outside the household level, e.g. from students, supervisors, or siblings, feelings of isolation, a turn away from the goal of a scientific career, but also more time to spend with the child(ren) and the increase of participation opportunities in academic meetings, teachings and conferences through digitalization. Overall, the study provides evidence that the incompatibility of motherhood and academic careers on prae doc and post doc level may be further enhanced in the course of the pandemic.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Organiser: ISA
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Education and Employment
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2023 08:11
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 07:24

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