Enabling work? Family-friendly policies and academic productivity for men and women scientists

Mary Feeney, Margarita Bernal, Lauren Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Universities throughout the USA have adopted family-friendly policies to enable life and career balance and to encourage the attraction and retention of women scientists. Although family-leave policies are designed to provide job protection for parents and ensure that faculty can remain productive scholars, it is unclear whether or not formal family-leave policies have played a positive role in areas of academic productivity such as publishing and teaching. This research investigates the relationships between university family-leave policies and productivity among faculty in six fields of science using responses from a national survey of 1,598 faculty at 150 research universities and data from status of women reports and faculty handbooks. The hierarchical multi-level analysis indicates that generous formal family-leave policies, on-site childcare, and spousal hiring policies differently affect the productivity of women and men academic scientists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-764
Number of pages15
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Family-leave
  • Maternity leave
  • STEM
  • Women in science
  • Work-family balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Enabling work? Family-friendly policies and academic productivity for men and women scientists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this