Happier! More Successful! and More Productive!
The “plight” of working mothers is often talked about, depicted in films, and even shared on social media.
Many people are still stuck in the mindset that traditional households with a male breadwinner and female homemaker work best. The thought of a full-time career mom is almost taboo for some people.
However, times have definitely changed and according to a recent study, these changes are trending toward the better.
This comprehensive study was recently completed by a team of researchers at Harvard Business School. The research team was led by a Harvard professor named Kathleen McGinn.
McGinn and her colleagues sought to compare the livelihoods of children who were raised with and without working mothers.
The findings of this study came from a very extensive process that recorded data, which was taken during a 10-year period. The source of most of the data came from two International Social Programme (ISSP) surveys, according to various news outlets. Data from surveys taken in local areas was also used in the study.
One of the ISSP surveys was taken in 2002 and the other wasn’t taken until 2012. The researchers wanted to have a good timeline to track future results regarding the progress of the children of the working mothers and non-working mothers.
In all, 50,000 people were analyzed. These people came from 24 different countries across the world.
McGinn and her colleagues completed this study in today’s day and age where many women are leaving the workforce. Some of them are deciding to do for their own personal reasons, like starting a family. Other women are leaving the workforce because they haven’t been able to find any work.
Statistics also back this fact up.
A Pew Institute research study conducted on this same issue proved that the unemployment rate for mothers in the U.S. rose by almost seven percent from 1999 to 2012. McGinn wrote in her summary of the study that the national recession was the main cause of the decrease in mothers in the workforce.
The study also showed that children of working mothers (daughters in particular) grow up to be more gainfully employed than children who grow up with mothers who do not work. Daughters of working mothers were found on average to earn 23 percent more money than daughters who were raised by non-working mothers.
Daughters of working mothers worldwide were also found to be more likely to not only work and earn more money than daughters of non-working mothers. Daughters of working mothers were found more likely to hold leadership positions at their places of employment more often as well.
This study proves the long-held notion that parents are a child’s first and foremost role models. When a girl is raised by a working woman, she takes those values she learns from her mother and applies them to her own life as an adult. This was even found to be true in countries that had a completely different culture from the United States.
The natural instincts that mothers develop while bonding with a small child can make it hard for them to return to the workforce after giving birth.
However, that doesn’t mean that leaving the home to return to the workforce is something to feel guilty about. According to this study, doing so actually helps the child become more productive as an adult in the long run.