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“ Opting Out” challenging Stereotypes and Creating Real Options for Women . Pamela Stone Hunter College & Graduate Center City University of New York Presentation prepared for the Conference on Women in Leadership

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opting out challenging stereotypes and creating real options for women

“Opting Out” challenging Stereotypes and Creating Real Options for Women

Pamela Stone

Hunter College & Graduate Center

City University of New York

Presentation prepared for the Conference on Women in Leadership

Sponsored by the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology

Omni Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

March 13, 2014

slide2

optintransitive verb \ˈäpt\ : to make a choice; especially : to decide in favor of something.

op·tionnoun \ˈäp-shən\ : 1: an act of choosing

2a : the power or right to choose : freedom of choice

opt outintransitive verb : to choose not to participate in something —often used with of <opted out of the project>

Courtesy of Merriam-Webster

women s representation in the professions and in leadership positions
Women’s Representation in the Professions and in Leadership Positions (%)

Sources: Catalyst 2012; Association of American Medical Colleges 2012

slide4

High-Achieving

Women’s Time Out of Career

20%

40%

Sources: Reimers & Stone 2008; Hewlett & Luce 2005; Goldin & Katz 2008

myth 1
Myth #1

They’re

traditional.

slide7

I always assumed that I was going to work when I had children and I didn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t. --Marina, 43, former health care executive

slide8

There’sthis perception that women who stay at home are empty and all they do is country club and manicure and all that. That’s the image you have of at-home mothers when you’re a working woman.

--Meg, 41, former trader

slide9

I find it extremely hard on my self-esteem and my ego. People ask you “What do you do?”

--Rachel, 40, former trader

slide10

It was like all of a sudden I didn’t exist. You know, six months ago I was working in the U.S. Attorney’s office and my name was in the New York Times. Now I’m nobody.

--Maeve, 52, former lawyer

myth 2
Myth #2

They’re not

competent

—or ambitious.

interviewees education
Interviewees’ Education

Source: Stone 2007

myth 3
Myth #3

They quit because

of family.

slide14

I lied! “Oh, I’m not unhappy with my job, it’s because of the baby.”

Trudy, 42, former IT manager

slide15

The high-tech work week is really 60 hours, not 40. Nobody works 9-to-5 any more.

--Nathalie, 39, former marketing executive

slide16

There’s no overtime pay. I would have been in a position where I might be “working 20 hours,” but really working 40.

--Mirra, 37, former engineer

slide17

I just felt I would be a nobody if I quit. Well, I was sort of a nobody working [part-time] too. So, it was sort of, “Which nobody do you want to be?”

--Patricia, 44, former marketing manager

myth 4
Myth#4

They’ll only leave

anyway.

slide19

On announcing I was pregnant, the expectation was “Baby—gone.”

--Holly, 39, former publicist

When you job share, you have MOMMY stamped in huge letters on your head.

--Christine, 40, former marketing executive

slide20

I mean I started to hear through the rumor mill that they weren't counting on me coming back. According to a friend of mine who was very connected, and she said to me, "You know, the management really doesn't want to see you back.”

--Nathalie, 39, former marketing executive

myth 5
Myth #5

They work for

bad companies.

slide29

optintransitive verb \ˈäpt\ : to make a choice; especially : to decide in favor of something.

op·tionnoun \ˈäp-shən\ : 1: an act of choosing

2a : the power or right to choose : freedom of choice

opt outintransitive verb : to choose not to participate in something —often used with of <opted out of the project>

Courtesy of Merriam-Webster