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Mommies and Daddies on the Fast Track:
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Mommies and Daddies on the Fast Track:
Success of Parents in Demanding Professions

Edited by:


November 2004 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Published in Association with American Academy of Political and Social Science

In the past 30 years, women have made dramatic forays into previously male-dominated professions that have been termed "fast-track jobs"; examples include law, medicine, academe, corporate management, engineering, and financial management.

These careers, which typically require long hours and have little flexibility, often have significant impacts on the families of the workers. The work-family issues for parents in these fast-track jobs differ in many ways from those faced by parents employed in lower paying, less demanding jobs. Since these fast-track professions pay well, quality child care is not usually the problem. Instead, the issue is usually a shortage of time.

Can women - or men - in fast-track jobs have it all? Or are they being forced into delayed parenthood - or even denied parenthood? Do fast track workers who reduce their hours to accommodate family obligations stay on track, or do they become ineligible for top level promotions? Is the "mommy track" a temporary way station or total derailment? Are organizations and professions foregoing their most talented employees due to these high time demands and scheduling inflexibility?

With the increase of women in these fast-track fields, these questions affect more workers, drawing new attention. Recently, scholars from a variety of disciplines have been analyzing how organizational structures affect the career success rates of women or men in fast track jobs who devote more time to their families for a period and also the ability of successful women and men in these jobs to have families. The Alice Paul Center for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Pennsylvania hosted a conference dealing with the new research on families and fast track workers.

This special volume of The Annals includes the research papers from that conference. The papers include studies of the professions of academe, law, finance, and medicine. Also included are a study of the history of how college educated women have combined work and family over the last hundred years, and analysis of the forces that have led to inefficiently long hours for fast track workers, a study of fast track women who have dropped out, and discussions of policies and gender-based expectations that could change the capacity of workers to balance work and family obligations.

Delving into topics that tap into several disciplines, this compelling issue appeals to scholars, students, and practitioners in the fields of gender studies, family studies, business, and organizational studies and is a valuable resource for those striving to better understand the tremendous challenges of balancing career and family in fast track positions -- both for individuals and organizations.

Janice Fanning Madden
Preface
Section One: Overviews  
Claudia Goldin
The Long Road to the Fast Track
Amy Wax
Economic Models of the "Family-Friendly" Workplace: Making the Case for Change
Pamela Stone and Meg Lovejoy
Fast-Track Women and the "Choice" to Stay Home
Section Two: Within the Professions  
Mary Ann Mason and Marc Goulden
Marriage and Baby Blues: Re-defining Gender Equity in the Academy
Jerry A. Jacobs and Sarah E. Winslow
Overworked Faculty: Job Stresses and Family Demands
Mary C. Noonan and Mary E. Corcoran
The Mommy Track and Law Firm Partnership: Temporary Delay or Dead End?
Mary Blair-Loy and Amy S. Wharton
Mothers in Finance: Surviving and Thriving
Ann Boulis
The Evolution of Gender and Motherhood in Contemporary Medicine
Section Three: Comments and Other Contexts  
Gwen Moore
"Mommies and Daddies on the Fast Track" in Other Wealthy Nations
Scott Coltrane
Elite Careers and Family Commitment: It's (still) about Gender
Joyce Jacobsen
Where We Are Now and Future Possibilities
Heidi Hartmann
Challenging the Double Standard in Parenting
Rosanna Hertz
The Contemporary Myth of Choice: A Review of Four Recent Books on Family and Work

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