Is the Mommy Track Bump Real?

by cv harquail on October 21, 2009

Is the Mommy Track Bump real?

Perhaps the biggest reservation to have about the study that (I suggest) proposes a Mommy Track Bump has to do with the research method my colleagues used.

Because this research finding is from a lab experiment conducted among adult MBA students, it does not show that these differences exists in real, ongoing, organizational life. Rather, we are to infer from these lab results that we would find this bump if we looked for it in a real organization. So, we need to ask whether this finding holds true in real life.

Who needs a dissertation topic? This question is (no maternity joke here) ready to go.

How about we find a ‘real’ organization in which to gather data about full-time and back-to-full-time mothers. We should consider a law firm or an accounting firm- both professions have been (relatively) aggressive in creating Mommy Tracks and “on-ramps” for professionals who are mothers. These organizations also tend to have formal performance appraisals and performance data, which would make testing hypotheses a bit easier.

Is anyone ready to test for the Mommy Track Bump outside the laboratory and in the real world?

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