Dr. Joyce Chen, an associate professor in the department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE), was recently interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) about how the coronavirus pandemic had a direct impact on her career at the Ohio State University. She had been working on several research projects with the goal of becoming a full professor at Ohio State. However, she now wonders if her career will go in the direction that she had hoped now that the pandemic has caused her to pause her career in order to take care of the needs of her family. The pandemic has also caused her to miss out on grant opportunities, turn down collaborations, and has put an indefinite hold on her research.
In addition to being an associate professor and mother, Dr. Chen is also a part of Ohio State’s Task Force on Racism and Racial Inequities. The goal of this task force is to provide tangible recommendations to address these issues on our campuses and in our community. The task force has been charged with convening discussions and proposing action steps that will help Ohio State be a more equitable, healthy, supportive, and nurturing university community. Dr. Chen is also the Chair Elect of the President and Provost's Council on Women and has co-authored a study on the gender pay gap at Ohio State.
The article looks at how the pandemic has forced millions of working mothers in the United States to place their careers on the backburner in order to take care of their homes and families during this unprecedented time. However, for highly educated, high-income women, taking a pause like this can have severe impacts on their careers as it puts promotions, future earning power, and potential leadership roles at risk.
Motherhood already has a signicifant impact on the careers of women in higher-paid professions because of the gender pay gap, but with no definite end in sight, the impact that the pandemic will have on those women who have had to sideline their careers is cause for worry.
To read the full article, please visit NPR’s website.