Study Shows Daughters of Working Mothers Are More Successful

Daughters are largely shaped by what they see from their mothers — and a new study continues to prove this.

Despite taboos in the past about having busy bees for parents, it is shown that working mothers can have a big impact on their daughter's path to success. Harvard Business School's "Gender Initiative" analyzed data from 24 countries — finding that in the U.S. specifically, adult daughters of working mothers earned 23 percent more than those whose mothers had not worked during their childhoods.

Not to mention, these jobs are more enjoyable and higher paying than the jobs of those raised by stay-at-home mothers.

"These findings suggest that in addition to transmitting gender attitudes across generations, mothers' employment teaches daughters a set of skills that enable greater participation in the workforce and in leadership positions," said Professor Kathleen McGinn of Harvard Business School.

This "roll modeling" effect can be noted on all sides of an industrious mother's influence — sons of working mothers take a greater share of parenting and other household care roles, according to the study.

But an article published by Daily Worth says that expensive childcare costs play a role in this, meaning that some women go back to work reluctantly, or stay at home because they can't afford to work and pay for childcare.

And while the economic lens of working mothers has an influence on daughters, the emotional component of being happy in a workplace is what really makes an impact, says Family Therapist, Julie Azevedo Hanks.

"It's interesting that the Harvard study focuses more on the economic benefits," Hanks said. "That doesn't mean their daughters are more successful in their personal lives. If a mother, whatever her work status, is happy and fulfilled, that's good for daughters, too."

NEXT: Working Moms Are More Productive »

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