Academic mothers with disabilities: Navigating academia and parenthood during COVID‐19

Kathryn Wagner, Stacey Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Academic mothers (including nonbinary, trans, and genderqueer parents) have always faced challenges in their profession due to systemic barriers and a “motherhood tax”; however, COVID-19 has exacerbated already existing inequalities (Oleschuk, 2020). This study examines how the pandemic has affected academic mothers with mental health and physical disabilities, as these voices often remain hidden and unheard in academia despite increased awareness of their presence (Brown & Leigh, 2018; Kelly & Senior, 2020). Here, we share the voices of 23 participants using a qualitative methodology drawing from social justice and feminist theories to highlight the lived experience of academic mothers with mental and/or physical disabilities and their experiences as a scholar and parent during COVID-19. Understanding the lived experience of this intersectional population can provide invaluable insights into ableist privilege within higher education, especially in the context of COVID-19 which has substantially disrupted work and homelife routines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-352
JournalGender, Work & Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


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