In the News


Mary Ann Mason in the news:



New law puts policies in place to address pregnancy discrimination

Mary Ann Mason quoted in The Daily Californian, October 12, 2014

“Nationally, it’s a disaster,” she said. “Very few institutions have a policy in place for protecting pregnant students.”


As California goes, so goes the nation?

Mary Ann Mason writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 8, 2014

Policies may be adopted to meet the needs of each higher-education constituency, but it must be remembered that providing accommodation for pregnant students is not just a “good thing” to do, or just for California. It is federal law. It is time for all states to recognize this.


Harvard professor challenges school’s denial of tenure

Mary Ann Mason cited in The Boston Globe, June 13, 2014

Judicial interpretations in the last two decades have made it more difficult to win a tenure discrimination complaint, Mary Ann Mason wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2010. Mason, a professor at the University of California’s Berkeley School of Law who studies gender in academia, said a plaintiff has to prove not only that the reason given for tenure denial is untrue, but that the real reason is sex discrimination.


How to level the playing field for women in science

Mary Ann Mason writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 2014

Having children is a career advantage for men; for women, it is a career killer. And women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high personal price. They are far less likely to be married with children. We see more women than we used to in visible positions, like presidents of Ivy League colleges, but we also see many more women than men who are married with children working in the adjunct-faculty ranks, the “second tier,” and one of the fastest-growing sectors of academe.


New Fed chief Janet Yellen lets a long career of breaking barriers speak for itself

Mary Ann Mason quoted in The Washington Post, February 2, 2014
Even today, many female academics pay what Berkeley law professor Mary Ann Mason calls a “baby penalty.” Mothers are 35 percent less likely than fathers to be hired for a tenure-track job in economics or other fields of science at any university, according to her research. “If you’re six months or nine months behind [the tenure clock], your male colleagues and the granting agencies don’t have a lot of sympathy,” Mason said.


A room of one’s own

Mary Ann Mason quoted in Inside Higher Education, November 5, 2013

“Colleges and universities do not provide much support for pregnant graduate students,” she says. “Of the 62 members of the Association of American Universities (the top research institutions in the country), only 23 percent guarantee a minimum of six weeks’ paid leave for working postdocs, and only 13 percent promised the same to employed graduate students compared to 58 percent for women faculty. Many universities have no maternity policy at all for graduate students and postdocs who are teaching or working in laboratories.”


The baby penalty

Mary Ann Mason writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2013

Our most important finding is that family formation negatively affects women’s—but not men’s—academic careers. For men, having children can be a slight career advantage and, for women, it is often a career killer. Women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high personal price: They are far less likely to be married with children than are their male colleagues.


What you need to know if you’re an academic

Mary Ann Mason writes for The New York Times, July 8, 2013

For men, having children is a career advantage, and for women it is a career killer. And women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high price. They are far less likely to be married with children. Among tenured faculty 70 percent of men are married with children compared with 44 percent of the women. Academia is difficult for mothers because of the rigid lockstep career track that puts the greatest pressure on aspirants in their 30s and 40s.


Family-friendly policies pay off

Mary Ann Mason writes for The San Francisco Chronicle, June 20, 2013 (registration required)

The flap in the business community about San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu’s proposal to require more workplace flexibility provoked San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jim Lazarus to tell The Chronicle the idea was “beyond unbelievable.” Perhaps relevant lessons can be learned from the pioneering and very successful family-friendly policies instituted across all 10 University of California campuses. They weren’t “unbelievable.” They strengthened the university, making it the beacon that other universities now are imitating.


In the ivory tower, men only

Mary Ann Mason writes for Slate Magazine, June 17, 2013

The most important finding is that family formation negatively affects women’s, but not men’s, academic careers. For men, having children is a career advantage; for women, it is a career killer. And women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high price. They are far less likely to be married with children.


The mom penalty

Mary Ann Mason quoted in Inside Higher Education, June 6, 2013

For women in academe, said Mason, “At every stage, there’s a ‘baby penalty.’ In the earlier stages, graduate students have children and drop out or grad students get turned away from the academic profession, in terms of the [lack of family-friendliness] they see around them.”


Ivory tower playing catch up to be family friendly

Mary Ann Mason’s book cited in University of Utah News Center, May 16, 2013

That is just one finding in a new book – “Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower” – by Mary Ann Mason…. The book builds on a decade of research and sheds new light on a well-known but as yet unsolved problem: women are far less likely than men to have careers in higher education.


Title IX and babies: the new frontier?

Mary Ann Mason writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 29, 2012

Did you know that Title IX specifically includes important protections for pregnant women and mothers? You probably didn’t, and neither do most pregnant graduate students and postdocs, or their teachers, principal investigators, department chairs, and deans. Most people think of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in any education program receiving federal money, as focusing on athletics and sexual harassment.


Family and career: Women in academia lose faith in having it all

Mary Ann Mason cited in LA Times, August 21, 2012

More telling, another survey shows that young women are clearly mindful from the outset of the potentially painful choices that may lie ahead. Mary Ann Mason, a law professor at UC Berkeley, surveyed 8,000 doctoral students in the UC system in 2008. She found that more than half of all female candidates felt that having children would hinder their careers, and that fear of being held back postponed many academic women’s child-rearing, sometimes permanently.


Can women have it all? It’s complicated

Mary Ann Mason writes for San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2012

The good news is that over the past 10 years, all the professions have scrutinized their workplaces and most are making efforts to balance work and life for fathers as well as mothers. Indeed, if fathers do not feel they have an important stake in change, it will not occur.


The future of the Ph.D.

Mary Ann Mason writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 3, 2012

Doctoral students in many disciplines realize the odds are against them. But students are often afraid to approach their advisers about other nonfaculty career choices, for fear of disapproval. And the professors themselves may not know how to advise students about any other careers than the research life, although given the dismal job-market statistics in recent years, that ignorance about nonacademic options becomes less and less acceptable.


Pregnancy and science careers

Mary Ann Mason cited in Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2012

A study conducted by Mary Ann Mason of the University of California at Berkeley documented that of the 61 members of the Association of American Universities (the top elite research institutions), only 23 percent guaranteed a minimum of six weeks paid leave for postdocs and only 13 percent promised the same to graduate students.


Mary Ann Mason Says NSF’s New Family-Friendly Policy a ‘First Step’

The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 13, 2012 by Mary Ann Mason
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Next-Step-for-Female/130717/

A mass of bureaucratic and regulatory blockages must be pushed through in order to achieve a flexible workplace in which having both a family and a career is possible. A critical block is that while federal agencies largely finance the graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members who create new scientific breakthroughs, it is universities that determine personnel issues.


Mary Ann Mason Considers Sexual Abuse Complaint Against Scholar

The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 14, 2011 by Robin Wilson
http://chronicle.com/article/Scholar-Who-Left-a-Tenured/128969/

Mary Ann Mason, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law who does similar research, said she didn’t believe the charges against Mr. Drago would stop him from doing work in the field. “He has been a very effective scholar and could continue to be so,” she said.


Mary Ann Mason Blames Bland Mayoral Debate on Ranked-Choice Voting

The New York Times, September 9, 2011 by Gerry Shih
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/us/09bccampaign.html

Mr. Ekmen and his wife, Mary Ann Mason, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, attributed the dynamic among the candidates to ranked-choice voting. “They were kind to each other,” Ms. Mason said after the debate. “It’s very hard to figure out the differences if you didn’t know them before.”