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Stressors of Integrating Work, Life Higher for Female Faculty

Since COVID-19, faculty more likely to consider leaving, reducing employment, especially female faculty members

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The stressors of integrating work and life are higher among female than male faculty and were more noticeable since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online June 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Susan A. Matulevicius, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and colleagues conducted an online survey among 1,186 faculty members at a large urban medical center between Sept. 1 and 25, 2020, to examine perceptions of work-life balance before and since COVID-19.

The researchers found that compared with before the pandemic, since COVID-19, faculty were more likely to consider leaving or reducing employment to part time (23 versus 14 percent and 29 versus 22 percent, respectively). Compared with men, women were more likely to reduce employment to part time before the pandemic (28 versus 12 percent) and to consider leaving or reducing employment to part time since the pandemic (28 versus 15 percent and 40 versus 13 percent, respectively). Compared with before the pandemic, faculty with children were more likely to consider leaving and reducing employment since the pandemic (29 versus 17 percent and 40 versus 24 percent, respectively); women with children were more likely to consider leaving compared with women without children (35 versus 17 percent). Both before and since the pandemic, working parent faculty and women were more likely to decline leadership opportunities.

“Without true change in the culture of medicine to support work-life integration and family-friendly work policies, further disillusionment in academic careers may occur and threaten the future of academic medicine as an institution,” the authors write.

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