A new study has found that women who are mothers and have graduated from top schools such as Harvard or Yale end up staying out of the job market for a longer period of time than those who go to less competitive schools. The study showed that about 70% of married mothers that attend top schools were employed in 2010. However, 80% of the married mothers that attended the least competitive schools were employed.
The data for this study was prepared by Joni Hersch who is a law and economics professor at Vanderbilt University. The analysis looked at women who were married and were between the ages of 21 and 54. All of these women also had children under the age of 18. It is based on the National Survey of College Graduates which follows roughly 77,000 college students.
One would think that those women who have attended top schools such as Harvard would be wanted in the job market and that employers would be more flexible with scheduling so that they could get these “powerhouses” on their teams. This does not seem to be the case however. Hersch thinks that it is possible that the mothers who attended the higher end colleges don’t end up working full time or at all because they can afford to do so.
While this may seem like it is just a guess on Hersch’s part, there is research to back it up. Studies have shown that those who graduate from top schools often come from wealthy families and marry men that they meet at these colleges who also happen to be from wealthy families.
54% of married mothers who had MBAs from top schools were working full time in 2010. This is in comparison to the 66% who attended less selective universities. This could also be because women are having children later in life so by the time they start having children, they want to stay home with them.