Female researchers publish childcare recommendations for conference organizers

March 12, 2018

Many women in science are raising concerns over the fact that parents with young children are often excluded from fully participating in academic conference activities.

Early-stage researchers in the sciences often try to attend face-to-face academic conferences to advance their career by communicating new discoveries, forming collaborations, meeting potential funding agencies and recruiting new students. As the primary caregivers to young children, these parent-researchers, particularly women, face hurdles to fully attend and participate in necessary conferences due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and caretaking conundrum addressed by a Working Group of Mothers in Science.

With a young child herself, Chapman University assistant professor of biological sciences, Patricia C. Lopes, Ph.D., has experienced this predicament many times.

"It's a serious problem because it creates a culture of inequity for parents, with mothers generally experiencing greater disadvantages than fathers because of biological, prejudicial and often socially-driven childcare demands," Lopes said.

Research shows this "baby penalty" negatively affects the career mobility of women, but not of men. Women of color face even larger disadvantages. Lopes joined a group of women in science to tackle this problem, seeking to help research societies and conference organizers better accommodate mothers and families. They hope that once changes are made by those willing to take leadership roles, women will no longer be excluded from full participation and therefore creativity and productivity in the sciences as a whole will flourish.

Their recommendations include: The group contends that adoption of any recommended practices will "send a strong and positive message that organizations recognize the issues parent-researchers face and they are working to support an inclusive, family-friendly environment."
-end-
This opinion piece, titled How to tackle the childcare-conference conundrum was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Authors of the study include Dr. Rebecca M. Calisi of UC Davis and a Working Group of Mothers in

Science including Dr. Patricia C. Lopes of Chapman University.

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. It is ranked 5th among Western Region schools by U.S. News and World Report. The University is home to 8,500 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 157th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at http://www.chapman.edu.

Chapman University

Related Nursing Articles from Brightsurf:

Dismantling structural racism in nursing
Confronting the uncomfortable reality of systemic racism - the system that creates and maintains racial inequality in every facet of life for people of color - is having a national heyday.

MU School of Nursing programs help nursing homes respond to COVID-19
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to put a strain on health care systems, nursing homes have become overburdened with the challenge of keeping both patients and staff safe and healthy.

Palliative nursing's role during COVID-19 and beyond
As a rapid influx of patients overwhelmed health systems during the coronavirus pandemic, palliative nurses played dual roles supporting patients, patient families, and colleagues.

Calling for nursing support amid COVID-19 pandemic
There are close to 28 million nurses around the world who comprise a global workforce that delivers about 90 percent of primary healthcare, including frontline response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nursing research informs response to COVID-19 pandemic
Nursing research has an important influence on evidence-based health care practice, care delivery, and policy.

Designing better nursing care with robots
Robots are becoming an increasingly important part of human care, according to researchers based in Japan.

A work patch for better nursing home care
A research team, including a Purdue University work-life balance expert, studied work schedules in nursing home facilities and found a patching approach could benefit patients and staff.

Nursing science could help reduce firearm violence and its impact
Firearm violence is a significant public health problem worldwide. In the United States, firearms are used to kill almost 100 people daily.

A nursing perspective on the opioid crisis
Addictions nursing specialists have a unique role to play in caring for patients, families, and communities affected by the crisis.

Nursing notes can help indicate whether ICU patients will survive
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that sentiments in the nursing notes of health care providers are good indicators of whether intensive care unit (ICU) patients will survive.

Read More: Nursing News and Nursing Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.