Women’s Employment and Homemaking Careers

Women’s Employment and Homemaking Careers

A Lifespan Perspective

Cherlyn Skromme Granrose

Chronicling the lives and career choices of a dynamic group of women, this book provides a comprehensive and unique glimpse into the intricate balance of work and family. Women’s Employment and Homemaking Careers is based on three surveys, the first conducted while the women were attending university, and the second and third conducted one and two decades later. The surveys provide quantitative data that supplements the qualitative material gained from final interviews conducted at the end of the 25 year longitudinal study.

Chapter 3: Careerists and Breadwinners, Working Full-time

Cherlyn Skromme Granrose


The careerists were the women who, when they were in college, believed that they would work continuously with a limited maternity leave after childbirth, and who acted on that belief. Breadwinners were the women who planned to stay home with their children when they were making life plans in college, but in actuality, some have had continuous full-time careers and their lives were so similar to the careerists, we have included them in this chapter. In college (Phase I), 41 percent of women believed they would have continuous careers and of the 72 women interviewed, 23 or about 33 percent fit this career pattern as they expected, including seven women who never had children. Of those interviewed, seven women expected to stay home when they were in college, but actually followed the breadwinner pattern of a continuous full-time career. This included two women who never had children. To be included in the groupings for careerists and/or breadwinners, the women had to have returned to full-time employment within three years after the birth of their first child and any subsequent child (or had no children) and were employed full-time (more than 32 hours per week) during their entire careers. We found 30 women who matched this selection criteria and they were placed in the groupings of careerists and breadwinners having a full-time career. Three additional women who fit these same criteria became selfemployed and their careers are reported in Chapter 6. The women who returned to work part-time and those who...

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