Cornell Study Says Liberal Parental Leave Programs May Hinder Women’s Corporate Advancement

BlauNew research by researchers at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University examines the status of women in the American work force. The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, was co-authored by Francine Blau, the Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics at Cornell.

The data shows that American women are less likely to work outside the home than women in 16 other developed countries. In 1990, there were only five developed countries where women worked outside the home  more often than in the United States. The study did find the American women were more likely to hold professional or managerial posts than women in other developed countries.

The study found that the average length of parental leave in the United States was 12 weeks in 2010. In 16 other developed countries, the average length of parental leave was more than a year. The authors of the study found that more liberal parental leave policies in other developed countries may result in fewer women making it to the top rungs of the corporate ladder. “There may be a tradeoff between some policies that make it easier for women to combine work and family and women’s advancement at work,” the authors write.

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