Parenthood must not be a disadvantage in a scientific career. With regard to management tasks, on the contrary, it should be considered whether active parenthood should actually be an advantage when applying for management positions with responsibility for employees. Studies on the situation of female scientists in terms of reconciling children - the desire to have children - with work shine a light on the current state of affairs.
Desire to have children and the reality
The desire to have children and the actual number of female scientists with children in Austria are subjects dealt with in the study entitled “Doing Science, Forgoing Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of Female Scientists in Austria”. Result: Twice as many female scientists in Austria are childless in comparison with their male colleagues. 45 to 60% of over 50s have no offspring - among the rest of the female population, this figure is only between 13 and 16%. Women scientists are keen to have children at the beginning of their careers, but they shun this idea over the course of their career path.
Source: Doing Science, Forgoing Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of Female Scientists in Austria, Isabella Buber, Caroline Berghammer, Alexia Prskawetz, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Institute of Demography, Working Papers 1/2011
Source: Mason, M.A. and M. Goulden (2004), “Do Babies Matter (Part II)? Closing the Baby Gap,” Academe, November-December