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More women with MBAs take mommy-track than doctors: study
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Women who earned Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees were more likely to become stay-at-home moms than those with medical or law degrees, according to a business school study.
The University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business study of nearly 1,000 Harvard undergraduates found that 15 years after graduation, business school graduates were more likely than doctors or lawyers to leave the workforce.
"Within a field, we find that women who are in family-friendly environments are more likely to stay working," Associate Professor Catherine Wolfram said in a statement.
Wolfram and her colleague Jane Leber Herr of UC Berkeley's economics department speculated that the business world was less female-friendly than the fields of medicine and law.
The study, "Opt-Out Patterns Across Careers: Labor Force Participation Rates Among Highly Educated Mothers," used Harvard College reunion surveys for the 1988 to 1991 graduating class for their initial data.
Those surveyed were about 37 years old and had at least one child. Fifteen years after graduating from Harvard College, 28 percent of the women who went on to get MBAs were stay-at-home moms. By comparison, only 6 percent of MDs stopped working outside of the home.
Of the MBAs surveyed, 27 percent had careers in the financial sector and 17 percent worked in consulting. The majority of the MDs worked in specialties centered on women (13 percent in obstetrics/gynecology), children (31 percent in pediatric medicine), and family.
The workplace environment played a significant role in determining career longevity, said Wolfram.
Doctors, for example, often work in private practices and may be able to work part-time more easily than women in other fields. On the other hand, businesswomen more commonly adhere to the corporate dictate of long hours and heavy travel.
The "Opt-Out" research also included Harvard women who later obtained their law degree and found 79 percent of attorney moms surveyed continued working after having children.
(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)
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