Work and Family Interest Group (WorkFam)

Mission Statement

The SMT Work and Family Interest Group (WorkFam) advocates for members who desire better balance between work and family life. We also seek to promote awareness concerning various challenges of balancing work with family, as well as initiate discussion on how these challenges can be resolved.


The group organizes themed discussions at SMT meetings to raise awareness of work-family conflicts in academia, and strives to make SMT meetings more family-friendly. The group also maintains a bibliography of items of relating to Work and Family issues, offers a mentoring service, hosts a discussion list, publishes survey results, and hosts a document of recommendations for faculty and administrators.

Discussions at Past SMT Meetings

  • 2018: WorkFam Interview Initiative Reports (Robin Attas, Ben Baker, Jeanne Bamberger, Daniel Barolsky, Inessa Bazayev, Clare Eng, Cynthia Folio, Patricia Hall, Mary Hansen-Murdock, Kim Loeffert, Rachel Lumsden, Yonatan Malin, Catherine Mayes, Matthew McDonald, Janna Saslaw, Rachel Short, Paula Telesco)
  • 2017: Leave Survey Results (Clare Eng, John Paul Ito, and Rachel Short) and Peer-reviewed Lightning Talks on Super-commuting (Jenine Brown), Adjunct Life (Elizabeth Smith), and Eldercare Policies (Chantal Lemire)
  • 2016: The Challenges of Taking Leave (Leann Wheless Martin, Benjamin Downs, Garrett Michaelsen, Louis Epstein, Rebecca Simpson-Litke)
  • 2015: Dealing With Change (Carla Colletti, Gretchen Foley, Charity Lofthouse, Rachel Short, Brent Yorgason)
  • 2014: Starting a Family at Different Career Stages (Brenda Ravenscroft, Robin Attas, Noelle Chesley-guest speaker)
  • 2013: Managing Work and Long-Term Care of Family—A WorkFam-DISMUS Joint Discussion (Jon Kochavi, Cynthia Folio, Jeffrey Gillespie)
  • 2012: Familia et Academia: Navigating tenure-and-promotion (Jan Miyake, Judith Lochhead, Matthew Shaftel, Steven Rings)

Work-and-Family Bibliography

For a bibliography on work-family issues, click here.

SMT Work-and-Family Documents and Data

WorkFam Mentors

WorkFam Mentors is a free group-mentoring service open to anyone who needs advice or support on work-and-family issues. Such issues might include: family needs that conflict with work responsibilities (or vice versa), negotiating for family accommodations at work, navigating tenure-and-promotion, searching for a job, or even just encouragement during difficult personal moments.

To contact WorkFam Mentors, write to Please note, however, that opinions expressed and advice given are solely those of the individual mentor and do not represent the views or actions of the SMT.

If you want to contact WorkFam Mentors anonymously, consider starting an email account with Hushmail. Unlike other email service providers, Hushmail allows you to start an account without providing any personal information. The above, however, does not constitute an endorsement of Hushmail or its services. Interested users should independently research this and other similar websites before applying for services.

E-discussion list

The online discussion group can be accessed at


All interested members are invited to join. To find out more about the group, or to make a suggestion of topics the group can explore, please write to Yonatan Malin (, chair.