Like Mother, Like Daughter?
Women are encouraged to believe that they can occupy top jobs in society by the example of other women thriving in their careers. Who better to be a role model for career success than your mother? Paradoxically, this book shows that having a mother as a role model, even for graduates of top universities, does not predict daughters progressing in their own careers.
It finds that mothers with careers, whilst highly influential in their daughters’ choice of career path, rarely mentor their daughters as they progress. This is partly explained by ‘quiet ambition’ – the tendency of women to be modest about their achievements. Bigger issues are the twin pressures from contemporary motherhood and workplace culture that ironically lead career women’s daughters to believe that being a ‘good mother’ means working part-time. This stalls career progress.
Based on a large, cross-generational qualitative sample, this book offers a timely and original perspective on the debate about gender equality in leadership positions.
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