ANSWERS TO THE MOMMY TRACK by Trudi Ferguson

ANSWERS TO THE MOMMY TRACK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Interviews with American women who have combined successful business, professional, or artistic careers with the raising of healthy children-by a veteran researcher on female achievers (Ferguson) and the author of To Save Our Schools, To Save Our Children (Dunphy--not reviewed). In 1976, Margaret Hennig and Anne Jardin profiled in The Managerial Woman the typical successful American businesswoman: her father's protÇgÇe, loyal to one company throughout her career, and consciously as "unfeminine" (i.e., unemotional) as possible. A decade ago, Ferguson followed up with a survey of the next, postliberation generation, revealing that female achievers born around 1950 were more likely to look to their mothers for inspiration, rely on traditionally female traits (intuitiveness, tact, etc.), and switch jobs as financial incentives dictated. Recently, the "mommy track" family-versus-career debate motivated Ferguson to revisit those interview subjects who had children (editor Nancy Evans, astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher, Congresswoman Barbara Boxer, etc.), to discover how they managed both a demanding career and a growing family. Not surprisingly, her results indicate that they winged it--hiring dependable caretakers, installing a modern on their home computers, refusing to let mother-guilt overwhelm them and hoping for the best. Ferguson's aim in emphasizing these coping techniques is to prove that women need not choose between career and family in order to succeed, but her having to resort to such exceptional female subjects underscores the enormous difficulties involved, while the probable real solution to the mommy-track syndrome--an increased commitment to the family by both business and fathers--is oddly underplayed. Dwelling on women who have done it all fails to address the issue of whether others should have to--and puts this well behind the front lines in the mommy-track war.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1990
ISBN: 882824-062-1
Publisher: New Horizon
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