Women with ‘elite’ education are increasingly opting out of full-time work

11 Apr

Work-life balance has taken a new turn. The higher the levels of study, the higher the chance that women will choose to opt-out of full-time work, says a study from Vanderbilt University.

The research found that 60% of female graduates from elite colleges are working full-time compared to 68% of women from other schools. Children are the key factor in hours women choose to work. Among graduates from ‘elite’ colleges, married women without children are 20 percentage points more likely to be employed than those with children.

The biggest difference is with women who have MBAs. Married mothers with an MBA and a first degree from a selective school are 30 percentage points less likely to be employed full-time than graduates of less selective schools, the study found.

Even though elite graduates are more likely to earn advanced degrees, marry at later ages and have higher expected earnings, they are still opting out of full-time work at much higher rates than other graduates, especially if they have children,” says Vanderbilt professor of law and economics Joni Hersch.

For a more in-depth understanding of her findings, read her full report: Opting Out among Women with Elite Education.


One Response to “Women with ‘elite’ education are increasingly opting out of full-time work”

  1. Karen Ramirez 11/04/2013 at 11:56 am #

    Interesting! I wonder if this is because they are marrying/having children with their peers, who are in higher paid jobs and can maintain a comfortable lifestyle without the need for a second salary? As a result, perhaps these women can afford to do less hours/stay at home. There’s a lot of talk about “choice” in whether women go back to work or stay at home. For many families, “choice” simply isn’t part of the equation – the UK is an expensive place to live and many women don’t “choose” to work over children or to work very long hours – it’s almost a pre-requisite of the job and they need to work in order to pay the mortgage, school clubs, groceries, escalating bills, etc.

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