Dueling Clocks: How Women Academics Balance Childcare with the Road to Tenure

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Careless, Erin
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This study looks at the experience of academic women as they attempt to combine the demanding roles of motherhood and being an academic seeking tenure. My thesis identifies several themes related to this notion of role-balancing for women: the gendered division of childcare and housework, women’s experiences in academe, sources of support for women, the influence of neoliberalism in academic institutions, and both tenure and family-friendly policies (Armenti, 2004; Comer & Stites-Doe, 2006; Perna, 2005; Ward & Wolf-Wendel, 2004; Young & Wright, 2001). Data from five individuals representing both tenure-track and tenured academics was obtained using a narrative inquiry approach that involved a combination of interviews, document analysis, and a visual representation of labour tasks. A thematic analysis was developed using a combination of grounded theory and a critical feminist perspective. The results from this study may assist in the creation or adaptation of supportive, university-based policy for academics who are parents, particularly mothers.