Working Moms Daughters Are More Successful And Sons More Caring, Says Harvard Study

Working mothers, who have often faced the question – “Can women have it all?”, can now relax. Because according to a recent study conducted by Harvard Business School  children growing up with mothers who work outside the home have significant benefits.

According to the study, which surveyed 50,000 adults in 24 developed countries, it was found that:

Daughters of working mothers completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles, and earned higher incomes. Likewise, the sons of working women are likely to spend more time caring for family members and doing household chores.

The researchers found that 33% of daughters of working mothers held supervisory roles, compared to only 25% of daughters of stay-at-home mothers.

Kathleen McGinn, a professor at Harvard Business School and the lead author of the study, said that they did expect that it would affect employment, but we didn’t expect that it would effect supervisory responsibility.

Explaining the variation in the gender equation, McGinn notes that sons of working moms see everybody in the household pitching in – they don’t see mom taking care of everything. As a result, they grow up to do more care-taking than their peers.

She adds, “It is that you’re offering a set of alternatives around what’s appropriate behavior for boys and for girls, and that those alternatives aren’t constrained by really tight gender stereotypes.”

But does that dismiss benefits of mothers who stay-at-home? McGinn emphasizes that she’s not suggesting that working motherhood is morally superior. “It’s not that it’s right or wrong for women to work. It’s that there’s a set of options that seem fully available,” she said.


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