FIGURE 1-9 Women fast-track professionals with babies in the household, by age of professional.

SOURCE: US Census, 2000 Public Use Microdata 5% Sample, prepared by M Goulden.

BOX 1-4

Bias Avoidance Behaviorsa

Productive Bias Avoidance



Stayed single to achieve academic success.

10 %

17 %

Limited the number of children—that is had fewer children than desired—to achieve academic success.

13 %

30 %

Delayed having a second child until after tenure.b

8 %

18 %

Unproductive Bias Avoidance



Did not take a reduced load when needed for family commitments.

19 %


Did not take parental leave even though it was needed.

27 %

31 %

Missed some of the young children’s important events, because wanted to be taken seriously.

34 %

40 %

Came back too soon after a new child.

12 %

46 %


aSurvey results presented are restricted to Research I institutions.


bGiven that on average, if US women are 34 when they receive their PhD, that puts the second childbirth in a woman’s forties. Less than 1% of all live births are to women over the age of 40 even today. So this strategy does not always work.

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