Gender, type of higher education institution, and faculty work-life integration in the United States

Catherine White Berheide, Megumi Watanabe, Christina Falci, Elizabeth Borland, Diane C. Bates, Cay Anderson-Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many academics in the United States assume that work-life balance, especially for women, is better at teaching-intensive colleges than at research-intensive universities, there is no systematic data to support this belief. We analyzed survey data from 909 faculty at a research-intensive public university, a masters-level public college, and two private colleges to test this assumption. Consistent with their reputation, faculty at the three teaching-intensive colleges reported family/personal life-friendlier departments. Yet we found no difference in work-life integration between faculty at the research university and those at the colleges. After we introduced having a family/personal life-friendly department as a mediator, the faculty at the research university reported more work-life integration than those at the colleges. The assumption that teaching-intensive colleges offer better work-life balance constitutes one layer in the leaky pipeline that reduces the number of women academics working at research universities, thereby reproducing the gender hierarchy in US higher education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Academic career
  • gender
  • higher education
  • work-family conflict
  • work-life integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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