What happens when high-powered women, having spent a decade at home to raise children, attempt to rejoin the workforce? In a follow up to Opting Out?, Pamela Stone's scintillating examination of elite women who abandoned high-profile jobs because of irreconcilable conflicts between job and family demands, Opting Back In revisits the same women a decade after they have left employment. Through in-depth interviews, Stone and Meg Lovejoy find a striking turn-around among these women, many of whom have spent years being high-functioning volunteers and ‘supermoms’. As the women do go back to work, either because of economic exigencies such as the worldwide recession or because of a desire to re-engage as a professional, the authors find that the years-long absence from the workforce takes its toll. These highly-trained professionals find employment as contingent workers who are paid less and are in mostly temporary positions. In their own voices, the women share their new career trajectories, mainly landing jobs that are disproportionately in the heavily female non-profit sector. The authors explore how the twin pillars of gender inequality—leadership and wage gaps—are thereby maintained for the very women expected to transcend them. Opting Back In sheds light on how even elite, professional women still encounter discrimination as they navigate the shoals of adult working lives.
This Mother’s Day, we take a look at the lives of working mothers. Why do high powered women quit their careers and head home? And how do they navigate the obstacles of …Read More >