After a baby, 28% of new parents leave full-time STEM work, reports Erin Cech
"After a baby, 28% of new parents leave full-time STEM work" - Science. 2/18/2019.
"Many researchers—and parents—already knew that STEM can be unwelcoming to parents, particularly mothers. But “the sheer magnitude of the departure was startling,” says Erin Cech, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and lead author of the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For both genders, “the proportions were higher than we expected.”
The surprisingly high attrition rate for men also highlights that “parenthood in STEM is not just a mothers’ issue; it’s a worker issue,” Cech says. She hopes that the findings “might motivate changes,” such as more paid parental leave from both government and employers and policies that better support flexible and part-time work. “We are not suggesting that people who want families should avoid STEM; that’s not the solution,” she emphasizes."
Additional Media Coverage:
"Nearly half of US female scientists leave full-time science after first child" - Nature. 2/19/2019.
"How parenthood foils STEM careers -- and not just for women" - Morningstar. 2/22/2019.