Suzanne M. Bianchi is the Dorothy Meier Chair in Social Equities and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California Los Angeles.
Suzanne spent her formative years in the Midwest, growing up in Iowa, and earning her B.A. at Creighton University, her M.A. at the University of Notre Dame, and her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Suzanne left the Midwest to spend most of her career on either the East Coast (in Washington, DC or New York) or more recently, in sunny California. In 1978, she joined the U.S. Census Bureau as a demographic statistician and rose to Assistant Division Chief for Social and Demographic Statistics in the Population Division, a position she held until 1994 when she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland College Park as Professor of Sociology. During her 15 years at Maryland, Suzanne served as Founding Director of the Maryland Population Research Center as well as Chair of the Department of Sociology. In 2009, Suzanne “retired” from Maryland, becoming a Professor Emerita, to assume her current position at UCLA.
Throughout her highly productive career, Suzanne has helped to define the burgeoning field of family demography with her research on the dramatic changes in the American family in the latter half of the 20th Century. Her widely cited books (with Daphne Spain) on American Women in Transition and Balancing Act: Motherhood, Marriage and Employment Among American Women focused attention on how changing gender relations have affected the family and work lives of both women and men. Her demographic perspective on work and family has been informed by personal experience in the “balancing act.” As a married mother of three children, she has observed and negotiated herself the challenges women (and men) faced as they redefined their relationships during the tumultuous decades of the 1960s and 1970s, moved toward greater gender equality in the workplace, and continued to try to sustain a satisfying family life.
Suzanne is perhaps best known for her innovative use of time diary data to chronicle the changing work and family lives of women and men. Her 2000 PAA Presidential Address highlighted the stability in mother’s time with their children across recent decades despite the large influx of women into the paid labor force. Her award-winning Changing Rhythms of American Family Life (with Melissa Milkie and John Robinson), is among the most widely cited resources on work and family life in the United States today. Suzanne’s prolific and insightful work in this area helped to bring time use research into the social science mainstream and encouraged the creation and widespread use of the highly successful American Time Use Survey (ATUS) as well other international time use surveys.
A generous professional citizen, Suzanne has held almost every leadership role in the PAA, and she has chaired both the Population and Family Sections of the American Sociological Association. In addition, she was co-editor of Demography (with Ken Hill) from 2004-2007, and has served on numerous editorial boards, review panels and advisory boards. She consistently devotes effort to improve the quality of social science data available for the field as a whole.
Suzanne’s Midwestern values have stayed with her, keeping her grounded in what’s important in life at home and at work. She fosters the careers of her students and colleagues, publishes for a broad audience, and pays attention to her 3 wonderful children. She would be the first to say that her career has also demonstrated the importance of having a fully-involved and supportive husband in Mark Browning.