Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity

Princeton Univ. Oct. 2021. 344p. ISBN 9780691201788. $27.95. SOC SCI
In this latest work, Goldwin (Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard Univ.; Women Working Longer) seeks to address the issues faced by women today, focusing on American women who are college graduates and have had many opportunities for career advancement. In her study of the historical background of women college graduates, Goldin uses case studies to illustrate the opportunities women had during specific time periods during the 20th century. For example, Jeannette Pickering Ranking, who became the first woman elected to a federal position (1916), never married and had children. Today, many women have families and are elected to public office, as in the case of New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Goldin analyzes challenges faced by women, including balancing career and family life, and examines the impact of capitalism and the expectation of working long hours for little pay. Historically and today, in heterosexual marriages, women are generally the ones making career sacrifices, Goldin states, and she urges men to be more supportive in their private relationships and when voting for public policies. Using statistics and other research, Goldin analyzes possible solutions and trends for the future while also studying the impact of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VERDICT A thorough look at the historical and socioeconomic causes of disparity in salaries and opportunities between men and women, with practical solutions. Highly recommended.
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