Twice a “housewife”: On academic precarity, “hysterical” women, faculty mental health, and service as gendered care work for the “university family” in pandemic times

Danielle Docka-Filipek, Lindsey B. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extensive research has explained women's pandemic-related workforce exodus as driven by the presumed pressures of gender disparate private, domestic burdens. The impact of gender asymmetries in academic labor on faculty well-being is less understood. We examined the effects of job-related factors on faculty mental health, a critical measure of precarity during the initial Spring 2020 “lockdown” and transition to remote work. Faculty (n = 345) were recruited via social media to participate in a survey on their work/life pandemic experiences. Women were over-represented in our sample, yet respondents at both the highest and the most tenuous ranks were underrepresented. Gender, teaching load, having dependents, and greater financial concerns were associated with higher depression and anxiety. Critically, women's heightened mental health risk was not explained by the other predictors. Results indicate women faculty's well-being and career advancement are threatened by disparate, obscured service burdens both within the academy and at home during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2158-2179
Number of pages22
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • carework
  • faculty mental health
  • gender disparity
  • pandemic
  • service burden

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