Why faculty don't use family-friendly work policies

So much for an enlightened profession.

UC Berkeley professor Mary Ann Mason explains one reason few of the university’s faculty have taken advantage of parental benefits such as teaching relief:

… Many mothers and fathers did not use the benefits (because of) their concern that they would be considered less-than-serious players if they took time off for childbirth. “Prior to tenure I would never have considered using the option,” one mother said. “I would have considered it … a fatal flaw.”

Some fathers expressed a reluctance to use a policy that they believed was put in place for women. Even if they were substantial caregivers, they believed they would be stigmatized for taking the leave. One faculty father said, “In my opinion, there is a certain ‘culture’ surrounding asking for teaching relief that makes it difficult for male faculty to consider this as a viable option.”