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Do working moms have a role in shaping the next generation of workers?

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Do working moms have a role in shaping the next generation of workers? 

Growing research suggests that working moms influence positive outcomes for their children. 


There seems to be no end in sight when it comes to the working mom versus stay-at-home mom debate. Many working moms have been swamped with criticism for their decision to return to the workforce, while even more wrestle with the idea that balancing a career and family could negatively impact their child’s development. Well, here’s some heartening news for those suffering from working mom guilt:  

Growing research suggests that working moms are influencing positive outcomes for their children, particularly their daughters.  

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that as many as 60% of Americans believe the ideal situation for children is to have one parent stay at home. Despite these findings, the number of working moms in the labor force has increased significantly over the decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70% of women with children under age 18 were a part of the workforce in 2017, which is a 23% increase from 1975.  

Whether by choice or necessity, more moms than ever are juggling the demands of motherhood and a career.  

How is this impacting the new generation of workers? 

Children tend to repeat the patterns that are modeled for them. Observing their mothers expertly multitask various aspects of life can instill in them a strong work ethic for both inside and outside of the home. 

What does the data show? 

A recent study published in the journal Work, Employment and Society surveyed over 100,000 men and women across 29 countries to explore the relationship between maternal employment and its impact on adult children's outcomes. The study found that adult daughters of employed mothers, in comparison to their peers whose mothers were not employed, were more likely to: 

  • Be employed  

  • Hold supervisory responsibility  

  • Earn higher incomes  

Interestingly, sons of working moms did not experience the same benefits as daughters regarding their careers. However, adult sons of working moms were more likely to share responsibilities at home by contributing to household chores and spending more time caring for family members.  

While the benefits are distinct, the bottom line is they exist for all children. That alone should offer some relief to guilt-stricken moms.  

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The Bottom Line: 

Moms – stop being so hard on yourself. There is more than one “right” way to raise a child. Both working moms and stay-at-home moms have the potential to impact positive outcomes, and one is not superior to the other. There is no need to criticize choices and circumstances that are different than our own. We hope that all moms feel empowered to continue raising the bar for future generations. 


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This data is for informational purposes only and Capital Benchmark Partners, LLC ("CBP") is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned nor endorses them. CBP is not endorsed by any third party entities for their inclusion in this article nor is compensated for mentioning them. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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