SU Advance to Host Discussion on Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower

SU Advance will present “Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower,” as part of its Conversations on Equity and Excellence series on Monday, March 31, at 2:30 p.m. in the Maxwell School’s Public Events Room, 220 Eggers Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

Mary Ann Mason

Mary Ann Mason

Mary Ann Mason, professor and faculty co-director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Center for Law and Social Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, will share findings and associated policy recommendations from her 2013 book, “Do Babies Matter?” (co-authored with Nick Wolfinger and Marc Goulden).

The book is the first comprehensive examination of the relationship between family formation and the academic careers of men and women, providing insights from unprecedented data resources, including a decade of research using the National Survey of Doctoral Recipients, data from the University of California and multiple surveys of faculty and graduate students in the 10-campus UC system.

Mason will highlight the needs of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, early and mid-career faculty and those nearing retirement, exploring the family sacrifices women often have to make to get ahead and how gender and family interact to affect progress through key points in the academic career. She will also suggest concrete strategies for transforming the university into a family-friendly environment at every career stage.

From 2000-07, Mason served as the first woman dean of the graduate division at UC Berkeley, with responsibility for nearly 10,000 students in more than 100 graduate programs. During her tenure, she championed diversity in the graduate student population, promoted equity for student parents and pioneered measures to enhance the career-life balance for faculty.

Mason’s research findings and advocacy have been central to groundbreaking policy initiatives, including the 10-campus “UC Faculty Family Friendly Edge” and the nationwide “Nine Presidents” summit on gender equity at major research universities. Mason also developed “Tools for Change in STEM,” a toolkit for boosting the retention of women in the STEM pipeline ( in partnership with Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law (University of California, Hastings)  and the Association of Women in Science.

SU Advance was established in October 2010 to promote career success for female faculty in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. For more information, visit or email

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