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Want Your Kids to Be Successful? Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Says Harvard Study

Listen up, working moms. It's time to put your guilt-ridden thoughts aside and start celebrating the fact that you are a mother with a thriving career, because children of working moms are more successful than their peers. Says who? Harvard Business School, that's who. Here's what you need to know.

Listen up, working moms. It’s time to put your guilt-ridden thoughts aside and start celebrating the fact that you are a mother with a thriving career, because children of working moms are more successful than their peers. Says who? Harvard Business School, that’s who. Here’s what you need to know.

Successful Kids Come From Successful Working Parents

(Photo Credit: The Community – Pop Culture Geek/Flickr)

The recent Harvard Business School study, spearheaded by Kathleen L. McGinn, Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, discovered that daughters of working mothers are more likely to not only hold full-time jobs, but also to hold supervisory positions and earn more money (roughly 23 percent more) than daughters of stay-at-home mothers. Furthermore, the study found that sons of working mothers were more likely to lend a helping hand around the house and also devote more time their families.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The study examined data collected in 2002 and again in 2012 from the International Social Survey Programme from 13,326 women and 18,152 men from 24 developed nations. The HBS study used this data “to find out whether growing up with a working mom influenced several factors, including employment, supervisory responsibility, earnings, allocation of household work, and care for family members.”

“It didn’t matter to us if she [the working mother] worked for a few months one year, or worked 60 hours per week,” said McGinn. The research was more focused on whether or not these respondents had a role model mother who taught them that “women work both inside and outside the home.”

Far too many working mothers hold on to a great deal of guilt because they feel they are neglecting or abandoning their children for their careers. However, the HBS study indicates that working mothers actually benefit their children by showing them that their mothers can be great parents while pursuing their careers.

McGinn insists that working parents are not only helping themselves professionally and their families financially, but helping their kids in the long run by setting a realistic example of what the modern-day, dual-income household looks like now.

In short, that working-mother thing you’re doing, well, you’re doing it right. So, put your fears aside that you’re damaging your children by holding down a career, because you’re actually training them to become a superhero just like you.

Tell Us What You Think

Did your mother work full-time or in the home? Tell us how that impacted your career and life. Share your thoughts with or community on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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