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Women in Astronomy

Parental leave policies 2.0

7 Oct 2015, 19:00 UTC
Parental leave policies 2.0
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The US remains the only developed country that has no national policy or law providing for paid parental leave. As a result, a plethora of different policies are utilized by employers and organizations. Several years ago the CSWA began a useful list of parental leave policies at astronomical institutions. Readers unfamiliar with this will find it interesting to compare their institution with others.The vast array of different policies offers an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of different leave policies. Which policies promote employee well being and success? Which are the best for recruiting, retaining, and advancement of all workers? Which policies do employees most like? Do policies exacerbate or ameliorate inequality?These questions are investigated by social scientists. Recently I've been reading some of the literature, motivated by two considerations.The first is the periodic assessment of my own university's policies for paid parental leave and, for faculty, tenure clock extensions. The policies were enacted about 15 years ago in order to remove barriers to the success of women faculty, and were explicitly gendered. For example, we grant one-year tenure clock extensions automatically to birth mothers but others must request the extension. Is this fair? Is it effective? It is certainly effective ...

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