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Women We Admire: Mary Ann Mason

Bring your lunch and join Mary Ann Mason, UC Berkeley law professor, for the next talk in the Women We Admire series: “Do Babies Matter?” Mason is considered a national expert on children’s rights, child custody issues, and family law and policy, and she frequently addresses national and international media, conferences and workshops on these topics.

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 7
Time: 12 to 1 p.m.
Location: Franklin Lobby 1
Remote access: Zoom
408-638-0968 (toll charges apply),*4 (from a UCOP office phone), Meeting ID: 698-756-8179

Mason is a professor of the Graduate School, UC Berkeley, and a faculty affiliate of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. Mason’s scholarship spans children and family law, policy, and history. Her most recent work has focused on the rights of the child in the fast-growing world of assisted reproduction and genetic enhancement. Her new book is Babies of Technology: Assisted Reproduction and the Rights of the Child (with Tom Ekman, 2017).

From 2000 to 2007, Mason served as the first woman dean of the Graduate Division at UC Berkeley, with responsibility for nearly 10,000 students in more than 100 graduate programs. During her tenure, she championed diversity in the graduate student population, promoted equity for student parents, and pioneered measures to enhance the career-life balance for all faculty. Her research findings and advocacy have been central to ground-breaking policy initiatives, including the 10-campus “UC Faculty Family Friendly Edge” and the nationwide “Nine Presidents” summit on gender equity at major research universities.

Other recent books in the area of family law are “Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower” (with Nicholas Wolfinger and Marc Goulden, 2013) and “Mothers on the Fast Track” (with daughter, Eve Mason Ekman, 2007), which focuses on the issues faced by the surging numbers of professional women in law, medicine, science, and the academic world.

Among her other books are two major works on child custody, “From Father’s Property to Children’s Rights: A History of Child Custody in America” (Columbia, 1994) and “The Custody Wars: Why Children Are Losing the Legal Battles and What We Can Do About It” (Basic, 1999). She also co-edited (with Arlene Skolnick and Steve Sugarman) “All Our Families: New Policies for A New Century” (Oxford, 2000, 2003) and (with Paula Fass) “An American Childhood” (NYU, 2000). Her first book on work and family conflicts, “The Equality Trap,” was published in 1988 (Simon and Schuster).

Mason was a professor in the Graduate School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley from 1989 to 2008. She received a B.A. cum laude from Vassar College, a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Rochester, and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco. She taught American history and practiced law for several years before joining the faculty at Berkeley in 1989, where she has taught children and family law and women’s issues in the law.

Mason’s talk is part of the Women We Admire series, initiated by the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW) in 2009. PACSW brings women to UCOP from around the system to share insights about their careers, workplace challenges and work-life balance. All members of the UCOP community are invited to learn how to make the most of working at UC.

Find upcoming speakers in the series and archived audio of past talks on the Women We Admire website.

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