"Women and Work: Choices and Constraints" - Conference
- Michelle Budig, Sociology, UMass Amherst
- Heather Boushey, Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the US Senate
- Nancy Folbre, Economics, UMass Amherst
- Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute
- Naomi Gerstel, Sociology, UMass Amherst
- Bernie Jones, Suffolk University Law School
- Susan Lambert, Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago
- Joya Misra, Sociology and Public Policy, UMass Amherst
- Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Psychology, UMass Amherst
- Peggie Smith, University of Iowa College of Law
In the fall of 2003, the New York Times published a controversial article entitled “the Opt-Out Revolution,” in which the author, Lisa Belkin, spoke of a growing trend among well-educated professional women to “opt-out” of the workplace upon becoming mothers. This “opt-out” revolution piece spawned a flurry of popular interest in the subject of women’s choice to climb the professional ladder or to “opt out” and parent. Many critiques followed, arguing that, in fact, women’s employment rates, including for mothers, have been increasing over time, and those women who leave the labor force often are not making a positive choice, but being pushed out or otherwise “mommy-tracked.” Others noted the importance of recognizing how class and status may be shaping these processes differently for different groups of women. Certainly, women have made gains in equal access to education and employment and companies have gained from the influx of talented women into the workforce. However, there are still many questions about the choices and constraints for low income women workers and professional women. Do current laws and policies support or constrain women’s choices regarding work and family?
In order to explore these issues, the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Research on Families will host a two-day symposium on “Women and Work: Choices and Constraints” to be held on campus on October 30-31, 2008. The focus of the symposium will be on key workplace challenges for women in the 21st century by reconsidering the notion of 'opting out'.
$25 (UMass and Five College)