BALANCING WORK-LIFE AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES
It may be more difficult to balance family and career at a Research I institution (Sears, 2003), which may discourage women from applying for RI positions. Marital status and the presence of children are often mentioned as critical to assessing gender differences.
Institutions with spousal support policies and child-care and family leave policies might be more attractive to female doctorate recipients. For example, readily available child care may make a greater positive difference in the lives of female faculty than male faculty. Leave policies are another institutional policy that may affect female and male faculty differently. Two types of leave include maternity leave, which is a standard benefit at universities, and longer, parental leave (Yoest, 2004). Some universities also have workload relief policies (typically a reduction in teaching and service responsibilities) for new parents. Spousal policies can take on a number of different forms. Wolf-Wendel et al. (2003: 163) suggested six broad approaches to “help spouses and partners of academics find suitable employment.” These were relocation assistance, hiring a spouse or partner into an administrative position, hiring a spouse or partner into a non-tenure-track position, creating a shared position, creating a joint position with a nearby institution, or creating a tenure-track position for the spouse or partner. Again, spousal policies were most relevant to hiring issues. The availability of these policies may affect the probability that women will apply for particular positions.