Parenthood and Gender in Russian Academia

Keywords: parenthood, work-life balance, academic career, doctoral dissertation, publication productivity


Based on data from a survey conducted in November 2021 involving 2,395 economists working in the academic field, the impact of parenthood on both mothers and fathers on elements of academic careers, such as defending a doctoral thesis and publishing productivity, is being analyzed.


It has been observed that men successfully balance the arrival of their first child with the defense of their doctoral thesis, while for most women, these events occur sequentially with a time gap. Furthermore, the strategies for combining parenthood with building a professional career among young respondents differ from those of their older colleagues. The older the woman in our sample, the more likely she is to prioritize the "child first, then defense" strategy. Over time, priorities have shifted, and now women are more inclined to postpone childbirth.


Using data from the library, indicators of respondents' publication productivity were obtained, indicating that, on average, men publish more works indexed in RINC and the RINC core. A similar publication gap has been identified in other countries, with researchers suggesting unequal burdens that women and men bear during parenthood as a possible explanation for this gap. The results of the study do not provide grounds to consider the presence or absence of children as a significant factor explaining this gap. The author considers self-selection among respondents due to barriers within the academic environment and differences in career goals as possible reasons for the publication gap. Both women with and without children are relatively more oriented towards a teaching career, and the presence of a child may strengthen this tendency.


Download data is not yet available.


Abramov R., Gruzdev I., Terentev E. (2017) Rabochee vremya i rolevye napryazheniya sotrudnikov sovremennogo rossiyskogo universiteta [Working Time and Role Strains of Research and Teaching Staff in a Modern Russian University]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no 1, pp. 88–111.

Anxo D., Boulin J.-Y. (2006) The Organisation of Time over the Life Course: European Trends. European Societies, vol. 8, no 2, pp. 319–341.

Anxo D., Mencarini L., Pailhé A., Solaz A., Tanturri M.L., Flood L. (2011) Gender Differences in Time Use over the Life Course in France, Italy, Sweden, and the US. Feminist Economics, vol. 17, no 3, pp. 159–195.

Box-Steffensmeier J.M., Cunha R.C., Varbanov R.A., Hoh Y.S., Knisley M.L., Holmes M.A. (2015) Survival Analysis of Faculty Retention and Promotion in the Social Sciences by Gender. PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no 11, Article no e0143093.

Charness G., Gneezy U. (2012) Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol. 83, no 1, pp. 50–58.

Chen J., Liu Q., Kim M. (2022) Gender Gap in Tenure and Promotion: Evidence from the Economics Ph.D. Class of 2008. Southern Economic Journal, vol. 88, no 4, pp. 1277–1312.

Derrick G.E., Chen P.-Y., van Leeuwen T., Larivière V., Sugimoto C.R. (2022) The Relationship between Parenting Engagement and Academic Performance. Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no 1, Article no 22300.

Ecklund E.H., Damaske S., Lincoln A.E., White V.J. (2017) Strategies Men Use to Negotiate Family and Science. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, vol. 3, pp. 1–12.

García Román J., Gracia P. (2022) Gender Differences in Time Use across Age Groups: A Study of Ten Industrialized Countries, 2005–2015. PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no 3, Article no e0264411.

Ginther D., Kahn S. (2006) Does Science Promote Women? Evidence from Academia 1973-2001. Working Paper NBER no12691. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Hillier K.M. (2021) Academia and Motherhood: A Narrative Inquiry of Ontario Academic Mothers' Experiences in University Graduate Programs. Journal of Family Issues, vol. 44, no 2, Article no 0192513X2110648.

Huang J., Gates A.J., Sinatra R., Barabási A.-L. (2020) Historical Comparison of Gender Inequality in Scientific Careers across Countries and Disciplines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 117, no 9, Article no 201914221.

Hunter L.A., Leahey E. (2010) Parenting and Research Productivity: New Evidence and Methods. Social Studies of Science, vol. 40, no 3, pp. 433–451.

Joecks J., Pull K., Backes-Gellner U. (2014) Childbearing and (Female) Research Productivity: A Personnel Economics Perspective on the Leaky Pipeline. Journal of Business Economics, vol. 84, no 4, pp. 517–530.

Kalgin A., Kalgina O., Lebedeva A. (2019) Otsenka publikatsionnoy aktivnosti kak sposob izmereniya rezul´tativnosti truda uchyonykh i eyo svyaz´ s motivatsiey [Publication Metrics as a Tool for Measuring Research Productivity and Their Relation to Motivation]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no 1, pp. 44–86.

Krapf M., Ursprung H. W., Zimmermann C. (2017) Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol. 140, August, pp. 147–175.

Krasnyak O. (2017) Gender Representation in Russian Academic Journals. The Journal of Social Policy Studies, vol. 15, no 4, pp. 617–628.

Krause E., Tomaszewska R., Pawlicka A. (2022) Conflicting 'Mother-Scientist' Roles. An Innovative Application of Basket Analysis in Social Research. PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no 10, Article no e0276201.

Krukowski R.A., Jagsi R., Cardel M.I. (2021) Academic Productivity Differences by Gender and Child Age in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine Faculty during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Women's Health, vol. 30, no 3, pp. 341–347.

Larivière V., Ni C., Gingras Y., Cronin B., Sugimoto C.R. (2013) Bibliometrics: Global Gender Disparities in Science. Nature, no 504(7479), pp. 211–213.

Lewison G., Markusova V. (2011) Female Researchers in Russia: Have They Become More Visible? Scientometrics, vol. 89, no 1, pp. 139–152.

Lutter M., Schröder M. (2020) Is There a Motherhood Penalty in Academia? The Gendered Effect of Children on Academic Publications in German Sociology. European Sociological Review, vol. 36, no 3, pp. 442–459.

Magadley W. (2019) Moonlighting in Academia: A Study of Gender Differences in Work-Family Conflict among Academics. Community, Work & Family, vol. 24, no 3, pp. 237–256.

Main J.B., Prenovitz S., Ehrenberg R.G. (2019) In Pursuit of a Tenure-Track Faculty Position: Career Progression and Satisfaction of Humanities and Social Sciences Doctorates. The Review of Higher Education, vol. 42, no 4, pp. 1309–1336.

Mason M.A., Goulden M. (2002) Do Babies Matter? The Effect of Family Formation on the Lifelong Careers of Academic Men and Woman. Academe, vol. 88, no 6, Article no 21.

Mason M.A., Wolfinger N.H., Goulden M. (2013) Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower. New Brunswick, New Jersey, London: Rutgers University.

Misra J., Lundquist J.H., Templer A. (2012) Gender, Work Time, and Care Responsibilities among Faculty. Sociological Forum, vol. 27, no 2, pp. 300–323.

Moors A.C., Stewart A.J., Malley J.E. (2022) Gendered Impact of Caregiving Responsibilities on Tenure Track Faculty Parents' Professional Lives. Sex Roles, vol. 87, no 9-10, pp. 498–514.

Morgan A.C., Way S.F., Hoefer M.J.D., Larremore D.B., Galesic M., Clauset A. (2021) The Unequal Impact of Parenthood in Academia. Science Advances, vol. 7, no 9, Article no eabd1996.

Paksi V., Nagy B., Király G. (2016) The Timing of Motherhood while Earning a PhD in Engineering. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, vol. 11, pp. 285–304.

Paul-Hus A., Bouvier R.L., Ni C., Sugimoto C.R., Pislyakov V., Larivière V. (2015) Forty Years of Gender Disparities in Russian Science: A Historical Bibliometric Analysis. Scientometrics, vol. 102, no 2, pp. 1541–1553.

Petersen A.M. (2015) Quantifying the Impact of Weak, Strong, and Super Ties in Scientific Careers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, no 112(34), Article no E4673.

Pilkina M., Lovakov A. (2022) Gender Disparities in Russian Academia: A Bibliometric Analysis. Scientometrics, vol.127, no 6, pp. 3577–3591.

Prakhov I., Rudakov V. (2018) The Determinants of Faculty Pay in Russian Universities: Incentive Contracts. Higher School of Economics Research Paper no WPBRP 47. Moscow: HSE.

Prowse R., Sherratt F., Abizaid A., Gabrys R.L., Hellemans K.G.C., Patterson Z.R., McQuaid R.J. (2021) Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic: Examining Gender Differences in Stress and Mental Health among University Students. Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 12, April, Article no 650759.

Rozhdestvenskaya E.Yu. (2019) Akademicheskaya zhenskaya kar´era: balansy i disbalansy zhizni i truda [Women's Academic Career: Work-Life Balance and Imbalance]. Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes, no 3, pp. 27–47. https://doi. org/10.14515/monitoring.2019.3.03

Sallee M.W. (2012) The Ideal Worker or the Ideal Father: Organizational Structures and Culture in the Gendered University. Research in Higher Education, vol. 53, no 7, pp. 782–802.

Sallee M., Hart J. (2015) Cultural Navigators: International Faculty Fathers in the U.S. Research University. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, vol. 8, no 3, pp. 192–211.

Sterligov I. (2017) Gender and Income Disparities among Russian Academic CEOs. Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, no 4(14), pp. 12–14.

Schröder M., Lutter M., Habicht I.M. (2021) Publishing, Signaling, Social Capital, and Gender: Determinants of Becoming a Tenured Professor in German Political Science. PLoS ONE, vol. 16, no 1, Article no e0243514.

Stefanova V., Latu I. (2022) Navigating the Leaky Pipeline: Do Stereotypes about Parents Predict Career Outcomes in Academia? PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no 10, Article no e0275670.

Sümer S., Eslen-Ziya H. (2023) Academic Women's Voices on Gendered Divisions of Work and Care: 'Working till I Drop . . . Then Dropping'. European Journal of Women's Studies, vol. 30, no 1, pp. 49–65.

Tarakanovskaya K.S. (2022) Genderny disbalans v sfere nauki: ob´ektivnaya statistika i sub´ektivnye smysly [Gender Imbalance in the Academy: Objective Statistics and Subjective Meanings]. The Journal of Social Policy Studies, vol. 20, no 1, pp. 53–66.

Tarakanovskaya K.S. (2021) Materinstvo i universitet: strategii balansa zhizni i raboty [Motherhood and Science: Strategies of Work-Life Balance]. Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes Journal, no 3, pp. 315–338.

Thun C. (2020) Excellent and Gender Equal? Academic Motherhood and 'Gender Blindness' in Norwegian Academia. Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 27, no 2, pp. 166–180.

Veelen van R., Derks B. (2022) Academics as Agentic Superheroes: Female Academics' Lack of Fit with the Agentic Stereotype of Success Limits Their Career Advancement. British Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 61, no 3, pp. 748–767.

Ward K., Wolf-Wendel L. (2016) Academic Motherhood: Mid-Career Perspectives and the Ideal Worker Norm. New Directions for Higher Education, vol. 176, December, pp. 11–23.

Williams J.C. (2005) The Glass Ceiling and the Maternal Wall in Academia. New Directions for Higher Education, vol. 130, August, pp. 91–105.

Wolf-Wendel L., Ward K. (2015) Academic Mothers: Exploring Disciplinary Perspectives. Innovative Higher Education, vol. 40, no 1, pp. 19–35.

Ysseldyk R., Greenaway K.H., Hassinger E., Zutrauen S., Lintz J., Bhatia M.P., Frye M., Starkenburg E., Tai V. (2019) A Leak in the Academic Pipeline: Identity and Health among Postdoctoral Women. Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 10, June, Article no 1297.

Zheng X., Yuan H., Ni C. (2022) How Parenthood Contributes to Gender Gaps in Academia. ELife, vol. 11, Article no e78909.

How to Cite
ChechikElena A. 2023. “Parenthood and Gender in Russian Academia”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December).
Research Articles