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Mothers on the Fast TrackHow a New Generation Can Balance Family and Careers$
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Mary Ann Mason and Eve Mason Ekman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182675.001.0001

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The Make-or-Break Years: Thirty to Forty

The Make-or-Break Years: Thirty to Forty

Chapter:
(p.24) 3 The Make-or-Break Years: Thirty to Forty
Source:
Mothers on the Fast Track
Author(s):

Mary Ann Mason

Eve Mason Ekman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182675.003.0003

This chapter suggests that the decade between thirty and forty is when women today make the hardest choices: whether to seek a fast-track position after securing their degree; whether to have a child; whether to stay on the fast track after having a child or to leave the race and find a less competitive role. They face new and formidable challenges, and there are rarely second chances if they opt out. This is also the decade when the career and family trajectories of men and women distinctly diverge. Many women leave the fast track during these years to accommodate motherhood, but few men do so for fatherhood. Men who remain on the fast track are more likely to have children than career women. In both work and family measures, men and women are no longer on an equal footing.

Keywords:   child-rearing, womanhood, family trajectories, motherhood, woman's careers, fatherhood

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