The Mother Of All Decisions: How Women Make Career Decisions Around Motherhood

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career decisions
female workforce
supportive workplaces
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This capstone seeks to discover how women make career decisions around motherhood. Specifically, what types of factors are involved when a woman chooses to become a mother and how workplaces can support their workforce around motherhood. With no government mandated paid maternity leave, organizations are required to meet the call of supporting the female workforce around motherhood, which inevitably can cause some friction and opportunities for bias. Through interviews of eight women who recently became mothers or are looking to start a family in three years, this research provides findings on how women are influenced in their decision making. The research dives into the history of women’s rights in the United States and the current state of government involvement, with trends and experiences in the workplace. The interviews determine how external and internal factors impact how women make decisions and provides suggestions to mothers, coworkers, and organizations on how to make the transition easier for women.

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Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics College of Liberal and Professional Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania Advisor: Steve Hart, MSOD
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