A new study has found that the children of working mothers are more likely to grow up to be successful and earn more than their peers.
, conducted by Harvard Business School, surveyed 50,000 people in 24 countries. Researchers also supplemented their data with two International Social Survey Programme surveys and local polls.
Study lead author Kathleen McGinn, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, explained:
“There are very few things that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother.”
Daughters of working moms tend to earn 23% more as adults than daughters of stay-at-home moms. Women of working mothers were also more likely to be employed and hold managerial positions.
Sons of working moms tend to contribute more to childcare and household chores, spending an average of 7.5 hours more on childcare per week than their peers. As adults, men who had working mothers also tend to have wives who are employed.
Children who had working mothers in general are also less likely to adhere to traditional roles of the working man and stay-at-home woman. Children under the age of 14 who were exposed to at least one year of their mother working part-time or full-time were more likely to grow to be adults with a more egalitarian view of gender than their peers.
One notable anomaly of the study found that children of working mothers who were raised with conservative values had the same career prospects as children raised by stay-at-home mothers.
“This research doesn’t say that children of employed moms are happier or better people and it doesn’t say employed moms are better. What it says is daughters are more likely to be employed and hold supervisory and sons spend more time in the home.”
There are many sacrifices that might deter mothers from seeking a career while they have children, but if there is anything conclusive about his study, it’s that working moms who balance a career and family are just as much the heros and role models their children need growing up to become successful in life.