How much is her time worth?

I read an article from Inside Higher Ed about how the rates of women’s journal submissions are falling. The article states that since the coronavirus stay-at-home orders have been implemented, women having been submitting less articles to journals. The article states that a main reason for this caregiving.

“Female academics’ research productivity dropped off at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, which many experts have attributed to women’s outsize role in caregiving even before the pandemic. Some also blame women’s disproportionate service roles and take-up of emotional labor.”

In this same article, a research consultant Kate Power, says the following:

“There is a saying working mothers have: ‘You have to work like you don’t have children and parent like you don’t have a job.’ And that was before COVID-19.”

Although I am not a parent, I already understand too well that women are asked to do more.

Women often take on more unofficial roles, and this is not just in the home — but also in the workplace — including the academic workplace.

To help bring the point home, I want to share examples of tasks I was assigned while working at previous jobs in academia that fell outside of my job description.

  • making coffee
  • loading or emptying the dishwasher
  • grabbing lunch
  • decorating the office
  • buying cake, holiday/birthday cards, gift cards
  • driving someone somewhere
  • booking a flight for the significant other of an employee
  • cleaning out an office or cubicle

I believe there is a possible intersection between identifying as a woman, other’s perception of a woman’s young age, and her identifying/being perceived as a person of color.

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