Very few employers have figured out how to make work — and life — manageable for working mothers, but what if it’s not just our work-life policies that are flawed? What if even the language we use to discuss working motherhood is problematic and making it more difficult for women to navigate office and family life? That’s the argument made by Nicole Stephens, an assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, based on research she conducted from April to November 2010.
Stephens studies what she calls “choice rhetoric” — language used to describe women interrupting or ending their careers for motherhood as a choice made solely based on preference, often failing to take into account the financial and other reasons women have for electing to stay at home.
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