Annotated bibliography

  • The National Postdoc Association data on postdocs and gender is based on Staying Competitive, a comprehensive report by Marc Goulden, Ph.D., Karie Frasch, Ph.D., and Mary Ann Mason, J.D., Ph.D. This report finds that 41% of new postdoc mothers and 20% of new postdoc fathers have decided to shift away from professorial career goals. This report also finds that married women with young children have 35% lower odds (vs married men with young children) and 33% lower odds (vs single women without children) to enter a tenure-track position.
  • When Scientists Choose Motherhood, a 2012 paper in American Scientist by Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci find that women progress fairly equally in STEM careers until they become mothers.
  • Pay Matters, a 2012 report by Houser and Vartanian on the economic impact of parental leave for the Rutgers Center of Women and Work, find strong benefits for labor force retention when women take paid parental leave.
  • Maternity and Family Leave Policy, a 2017 paper by Maya Rossin-Slater, contrasts maternity leave between the US and other countries, and describes the impacts on labor force participation as well as well-being of children.
  • Early-stage investigators (ESI) are able to request a one-year extension for childbirth within the ESI period through an NIH Extension web-portal.
  • The American Academies of Pediatriacs (AAP), WHO, and CDC recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and continuing breasfeeding for at least the first year of an infant’s life, but more than 30% of new mothers give up breastfeeding within seven weeks of returning to work because of barriers within the work place.
  • A 2011 Surgeon General Report finds that lack of maternity leave and insufficient lactation support in the workplace leads to many new mothers ending breastfeeding sooner than desired.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) now requires employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”
  • Rani Molla reports in Vox that an increasing number of American companies are providing paid parental leave benefits.
  • Anne Stych reports in Bizwomen that as of February 2019, 40% of companies in the US now provide paid parental leave.
  • In the book Breaking Through, 2018 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, they note that “The salary advantage in private industry for foregoing a postdoctoral position is especially pronounced for Ph.D.’s conducting biomedical research”, and recommend that “NIH should increase the [NRSA] starting salary for new postdoctoral researchers to $52,700 (in 2018 dollars), with annual adjustments for inflation and for cost-of-living increases tied to the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index. Research institutions should adjust their base postdoctoral salary annually to match the corresponding NRSA rate, with adjustments based on local cost-of-living, and they should harmonize benefits for all postdoctoral scholars regardless of support mechanism.”

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