Gender not children ‘holds women academics back’
This article raises some interesting issues. Many people who are employed as academics are chosen due to their qualifications and their research and list of publications. Presumably it is more difficult for a woman to complete a PhD and conduct research that is then written up in reviewed publications or presented at conferences if there are other demands on her time, including having a young family. While having a child per se is not an impediment to academic life, as many men with children are also successful academics, it is still much more likely that women will take on the larger share of the workload when it comes to caring for children and raising a family. This is the same issue as to why women are underrepresented parliament, or in senior positions in industry. Men in all of these positions often have a wife who takes on a lot the day to day running of family life. Women who want to succeed in the same professional capacity rarely have a partner who is as committed to participating in quite this way.
Suggestions like flexible and available childcare is a good start but it is a lot more difficult for women to gain the same profession level and it is difficult to find solutions for this problem.