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Bias against parents in science hits women harder

Fernanda Staniscuaski (), Arthur V. Machado, Rossana C. Soletti, Fernanda Reichert, Eugenia Zandonà, Pamela B. Mello-Carpes, Camila Infanger, Zelia M. C. Ludwig and Leticia Oliveira
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Fernanda Staniscuaski: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Arthur V. Machado: Fluminense Federal University
Rossana C. Soletti: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Fernanda Reichert: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Eugenia Zandonà: State University of Rio de Janeiro
Pamela B. Mello-Carpes: Federal University of Pampa/UNIPAMPA
Camila Infanger: University of São Paulo
Zelia M. C. Ludwig: Federal University of Juiz de Fora
Leticia Oliveira: Fluminense Federal University

Palgrave Communications, 2023, vol. 10, issue 1, 1-9

Abstract: Abstract Worldwide, parenthood remains a major driver for the reduced participation of women in the job market, where discrimination stems from people’s biases against mothers, based on stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding the vision of motherhood in our society. In academia, parenthood may be perceived as negatively affecting scientists’ commitment and dedication, especially women’s. We conducted a survey amongst Brazilian scientists and found that mothers self-reported a higher prevalence of negative bias in their workplace when compared to fathers. The perception of a negative bias was influenced by gender and career status, but not by race, scientific field or number of children. Regarding intersections, mothers with less than 15 years of hiring reported having suffered a higher rate of negative bias against themselves. We discuss implications of these results and suggest how this negative bias should be addressed in order to promote an equitable environment that does not harm women in science.

Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1057/s41599-023-01722-x

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