Abstract / Synopsis
Had I known about the grim employment statistics facing mothers in academia I might have chosen a different path. I share my story of navigating the academic job market while visibly pregnant and connect my experiences to the wider issue of biases against motherhood in academia. Ultimately I was lucky to get a tenure-track job right out of graduate school, but the environment I found myself in was hostile to me as a new mother. There has been much interest in increasing gender diversity of the professorate, especially in mathematics; it is valuable to look specifically at how motherhood and the timing of child-rearing affect the underrepresentation of women at all levels of higher education. I conclude by offering several ideas promoting justice and fairness for academic families and practical improvements to increase both the hiring and promotion of caregivers.
Teena Carroll, "The Elephant (-Sized Belly) in the Room," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 8 Issue 2 (July 2018), pages 127-142. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.201802.13. Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol8/iss2/13