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Career Life Balance Supplement

The Current Climate

A significant proportion of women STEM scientists seeking academic positions have partners who need appropriate professional employment in the same region. 

  • 36% of academics in the United States have a partner who also works in academia.
  • 83% of female scientists have a partner in academic science, typically in a similar field (Schiebinger, Henderson, & Gilmartin, 2008).  
  • Among those women who are part of academic couples, women are more likely than men to resign from their career to support their partner’s career advancement.  
  • Women STEM scientists are also more concerned than men STEM scientists with how to make a dual professional career partnership possible. 

At UC, in 2012, 11% of STEM faculty had partners who were also on the UC faculty (versus 7% of all faculty). Our results are lower than the 36% national number for all academics for at least two reasons.

  • We examined only people in the AAUP faculty bargaining unit, thereby missing people whose partners might be in research positions at UC but not formally on the faculty. 
  • We could examine only UC employees, and not people who might be partners of UC faculty but who have jobs at places like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center or elsewhere in the region. 

Nevertheless, the results would seem to suggest that UC might have a serious problem in not doing more to recruit dual career couples.

UC LEAF's Recommendations:

1. Work with the AAUP to create policy updates in the following categories:

  • Dual Career Hiring
  • Eldercare Assistance
  • Emergency Childcare
  • Lactation Support
  • Parental Leave
  • Part-time Tenure
  • Stopping the Tenure Clock

2. In conjunction with the Human Resources department, collect data pertaining to dual career hires, including usage of policies and programming, retention and performance rates and assessment of missed opportunities.

3. Establish a permanent line of funding for an IT support person to manage a job bank with a regional outreach to monitor the usage of job bank to ensure top tier jobs are promoted.

4. Ensure proper communication channels are enacted to disperse dual career hiring and career life balance initiatives among faculty and new hires, including ensuring hiring committees from each department are trained on the dual career hiring initiatives and career life policies, and dissemination for the new faculty material handbook created by UC LEAF, containing all of the career life balance issues to help awareness and promote utilization of existing policies.

5. The University of Cincinnati has become a member of the ACE network. With this designation, the university is committing to invest in policies and procedures that create a more flexible workplace for faculty (and perhaps staff).

For more details on these recommendations, please read the full report.