Becoming a mother can halt career progression, new study shows

The study shows mothers are less willing to travel overseas

LAST UPDATED: 14 Sep, 2016 @ 14:28

pregnant woman sunbathing at a Caribbean beachMOTHERHOOD halts general progression and travel in top performing female academics, a study has shown.

The  Spanish study showed that women, especially mothers over 40, are less willing to travel overseas, limiting their trips to Western Europe.

Researchers found that in 10,349 Spanish doctoral CV’s held by women, only 42% have travelled to surrounding countries internationally.

This stands in stark contrast to 37.6% of men who can travel further, doing more ‘substantial work’ for longer periods of time.

The authors of the report are now analysing European Union-level data to see if similar trends exist across the continent and whether they may contribute towards lower rates of promotion among female academics.

Dr Carolina Cañibano, professor in Economics at the University of Valencia said: “If researchers know they have to be away for at least half a year and if they wish to have a family, they might think ‘let’s get it over and done with it as soon as possible.”


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  1. Fred, slightly confused with your remark. Do you mean it’s difficult for a PhD to find employment in Spain, or a postdoctoral researcher finds difficulty in finding employment in Spain. No such thing as a postdoctoral degree, a PhD is a degree.

    • Linda, sorry that you are confused, but I think the explanation given is accurate as it is. There certainly are post doctoral degrees, indeed many of my colleagues also have them. You interpret in your own way, and I in mine. Btw, your interpretation does not invalidate what I wrote.

      • Fred, I believe your interpretation needs correcting, that’s why I am confused like other PhD’s that I had asked. They all said a post doctor is a researcher that’s why it is called “post”. Perhaps may be they are all wrong!, but naturally not Fred. Btw, why don’t they all use the title of “post PhD” in that case. Just a thought.

        • Linda, I believe your interpretation needs correcting. I asked other PhD’s as well, and they are not confused by the term. It is a term, it is not a title, nor is it a tangible thing. You are really reading too much in it Linda. I’m not sure we can take it any further, but thanks for your opinions.

          • Chas, your tenacity in obsessing over a simple phrase (which has always been correct btw) is equally remarkable. I cannot help it if you cannot comprehend a simple sentence. You’re up very early, are you really _that_ worried about it? I hope you’re not sleep over such a trivial matter.

          • “Blast”, the sound of your argument being demolished. Direct me to my own comment where I ever said it was a title or tangible thing. Some “academics” you lot are lol.

    • Correct, there are no post-doctoral degrees unless one mangles English to make ‘post-doctoral’ mean anything received after the date a doctorate was awarded. Incorrect, idiosyncratic language and ‘logic’ would make a BA, BS, MA, MS received after a real doctorate a ‘post doctoral degree’ only because in a linear sense it was received after, though not higher than the doctorate. Of course that misleads anyone not conversant with university degrees, and is probably meant to for the sake of puffery.
      By this same perverted language use he could also claim he had a post doctoral dental appointment, a post foctoral brain embellism, a post doctoral psychiatric appointment, received a post doctoral anthing whatsoever as long as it happened after five minutes after reception of a bona fide doctorate from a real university.
      It is now clear that a certain kind and degree of ‘BS’ informs his claim, and that appears the basis for the tenacity of his silly claims as well.

      • Chas, you seem frustrated that you cannot overturn what I stated earlier. I never mentioned a special type of degree at any point; that was something you misinterpreted at the very beginning, and which you are now backtracking on as you realise your error. Btw, the only people who have butchered the English language are the Americans lol. Now please get back on topic and stop worrying about my personal life.

          • Oh please no more quotes. As soon you lose an argument you are off with Google to find more quotes to distract attention. “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit” – Oscar Wilde. Perfect lol.

          • chas, I searched the internet (which, as you well know, gives untold information) to confirm what we have been saying to Fred regarding “a postdoctoral degree” and guess what thy also confirmed there is no such thing as a “postdoctoral degree”. I enclose just a couple of many passages.
            1. A postdoctoral researcher is a person professionally conducting research after the completion of Their doctoral studies (Typically for a … Appointments Such a research position May be called postdoctoral research fellow , postdoctoral research …Job security and academy.
            2. In general, a PhD is the highest degree you can get. A postdoc is simply a research position that is not permanent, i.e. no fixed contract or tenure. But there is nothing beyond a PhD in terms of degrees.
            Perhaps Fred should notify his many colleagues regarding this matter.

          • Oh Linda, you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. No article exists that invalidates what I said, because it is purely a descriptive sentence. I have never been talking about a special degree. You have both simply misinterpreted, and no amount of cutting-and-pasting will change that. Get over it.

        • Academia values personal integrity and accuracy, not mulish dishonesty. It is obvious to all but you that semantics are beyond your grasp. Attempts to employ flabby definitions and obfuscation to mask your mistakes and careless statements fool no one save you, and reveals an approach to knowledge which educational institutions everywhere reject instantly.
          If you were any denser, you would be a black hole.

          • Your protests become more desperate in each post. You are just a sulky armchair anthropologist who can’t get a real job nor understand the language that we gave you, and has a chip on his shoulder about his visa problems. My own published work spans two decades in ten languages and is used by colleges and Universities world-wide. You are so out of your depth it’s laughable. Suck it up, as the yanks say lol.

          • chas, perhaps Fred forgot to mention that a lot of American words have also been added to the English language. He also tends to forget that he will also be subject to a chip on his shoulder regarding visa problems once Article 50 is activated unless he does a runner and applies for a dual nationality like many British MEP have done. Most British I must say.

          • I’ll let you get back to your armchair Chas. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” – Anon.

          • Linda, I already have dual nationality (and actually applied for triple nationality this year.) Amazing things these ancestry websites. Sorry to dissapoint you on that. And yes, many American words have been added to the English language. What a shame that is. How about getting back on topic now, or are you making this a personal vendetta?

  2. Apart from these semantics, it is not compulsory for women to have children. It isn’t the be all and end all of life. A career can be just as rewarding as motherhood. All women have to do is realise their intellect is stronger than their hormones.
    Or get a co-operative husband.

  3. Fred, I don’t have any ego, it’s really a “simple” case that one has to admit that a “postdoctoral degree” does not exist, if not, who’s ego are we talking about, and yes, I do need to check, paste to confirm and correct, the same as you need to check and study to acquire a degree.
    I’m afraid it’s your own “ego” that has brought this whole episode to what it is and just a simple admission such as “I stand corrected in the mis-interpretation of a postdoctoral degree, whereas a postdoctoral is associated with a researcher”, simple really Fred and then perhaps, in your own words, we could move on, if not, I sincerely hope your degree is not in the field of teaching. lol.

    • Linda, you need to re-read what I said. You have jumped the gun and misinterpreted a perfectly valid sentence. You seem hell bent on wanting an apology for something that was never incorrect, and that says a lot about you. I taught at University for over a decade btw. I actually ended up disliking academia. Itt’s full of jealous PhD’s trying to get published, and I did that before I was an undergraduate. What have you contributed to academia? I least I can go to the library of any notable University and find my own works. Btw, I don’t care if you believe it or not, I got over that issue ages ago too.

      • Fred, I have not contributed anything to academia and don’t really care to, but that doesn’t mean one does not read and understand what people are saying which in your case have clearly stated a “postdoctoral degree” many times. One only needs to read the first few comments on this forum. Therefore, you, being well above other intellectual PhD’s could you in your great academic wisdom direct me to any passage that indicates there is a “post doctorate degree”, other than it being associated to a researcher. BTW. perhaps you meant to say “postdoctoral researcher” but got flummoxed by the wordings, which one could accept.
        May I also add, that perhaps in your great teaching ability you may be misleading your pupils in academic terminology. Just a thought Fred. lol

          • I agree Fred, you are now becoming quite tiresome.
            Fred, you have not given any reasons but excuses and just can’t admit your wrong. Sad case really from a person with such a self profoundly high intelligence. BTW, still waiting for a direction to where it indicates a “postdoctoral degree”. Can’t give it can you, it doesn’t exist.
            What’s that old saying, “one can lead a horse to the trough, but…..”.

    • Linda, I suspect Fred meant to say ‘post graduate’ degrees, not ‘post-doctoral’ degrees. Substituting ‘post-graduate’ for ‘post-doctorate’ puts a few of his posts in better light. If the error was that inadvertent substitution of terms, his admission of making a complely understantable mistake would have saved a lot of cyber ink. I offer that fig leaf.

    • Linda, I don’t have “future nationalities”, I already had dual nationality from birth, and another was possible due to bloodlines. Do keep up.

      As for your Dad, well as they say, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” lol.