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No Thanks.

Maternity leave—or the lack thereof—wasn’t the only reason GracieABD, a Midwestern doctoral student in a STEM field, said no to a tenure-track job offer at a small university, but it was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she admits on Tenure, She Wrote:

“Academia is shockingly backwards when it comes to maternity leave for instructional staff. It seems like you either teach your full load, or maybe a reduced load without actually taking any leave, or you take the semester off with no pay, and possibly no insurance (e.g., see here, here, and here).”

GracieABD doesn’t even have children, nor is she expecting, and her academic career has barely begun, but she says she and her husband want to keep their options open. She doesn’t want to severely limit job opportunities for her husband, who is an adjunct, in case they do become parents.

“Moving for a faculty job in which I would be the sole breadwinner at a point when we’re trying to start a family just doesn’t make sense to me,” GracieABD says. And taking time off without pay and insurance might be an option “if you have a spouse that carries insurance and makes a decent income, but what about those of us women who are the major/sole breadwinners??” she asks.

And we wonder why so many young female scientists are turning their backs on academia. Hmmm.

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