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Why Paid Leave Can Help A Man’s Career And Hurt A Woman’s

Plenty of companies are trying to make things easier for working families in this country, but there remain a ton of kinks to work out. Take, for example, Academia. Most universities are seen as bastions of progressive ideas and policies, but a new report from The Institute For The Study Of Labor find some retrograde gender issues tied up in their paid leave policies.

The 20 year study looked at 1,300 assistant professors from the top 49 college and university economics departments in the U.S. that have gender neutral clock-stopping polices. Typically, these allow parent professors to hit the pause button on a tenure track for one year, which allows for paid time off without requiring them to take a leave of absence. These policies encourage equal parenting between moms and dads (something a majority of male professors believe in, according to a different study), but the net result is unequal career opportunities for the moms.

The research showed that male professors who took chose pause their tenure track were 19 percent more likely to reach tenure after; women who did were 20 percent less likely to reach tenure. Since you just finished apologizing for your dad bonus, this is another bittersweet benefit to add to the pile.

Experts suspect that this is because when men took time off, they still used some of the time to get ahead in their careers — male professors who stopped the clock were much more likely to publish in top 5 economics journals than women were. The findings indicate that women are “less able to use the additional time strategically or effectively,” the study said. But not all parents are academics, so don’t be too hard on yourself about these findings. If anyone can figure this out, it should be 1,300 economics professors.

[H/T] The Washington Times