A Lifespan Perspective
Chapter 4: Part-time Careers
4. Part-time careers Women have careers that contain part-time employment for two primary reasons: some women see part-time employment as a way to continue their ongoing commitment to the labor force; other women, who value their primary role as homemakers but who need additional income, choose part-time employment in occupations that provide some flexibility to adjust schedules to fit childrearing demands. Of the 72 women interviewed in Phase IV, about 55 percent did not have full-time continuous careers following childbirth. The 15 women who stayed completely out of the labor force for three or more years are reported in Chapter 5 on homemakers and those who combined part-time careers with self-employment or starting their own business are reported in Chapter 6. The 11 women included in this chapter spent less than three years entirely out of the labor force but spent three or more years in part-time employment. This chapter includes four women or about 3 percent who expected to have continuous careers when they were in college but actually followed a part-time career pattern, in every case due to unexpected family circumstances. Out of these four women three of them returned to full-time work after spending some child caretaking years in part-time employment. Their careers have some things in common with those women with continuous full-time careers in the previous chapter and some things in common with the women with longer part-time careers whom we also discuss in this chapter. An additional seven women or about 9 percent of...
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