Lab Alumna Liana Landivar (Senior Researcher and Sociologist at the US Department of Labor) has released a new book, Mothers at Work: Who Opts Out? Landivar’s book examines a key question relating to the labor force participation of high-achieving American women: are mothers in managerial and professional occupations more likely to leave the labor force when they have children? Using four major government surveys, Mothers at Work offers a nationally representative account of mothers’ employment in 55 occupations and shows that women in managerial and professional occupations were the least likely to opt out but most likely to scale back by a few hours per week when they had children. By examining work-hour trends since 1970, this book shows that scaling back is taking place in a broader context of shorter work hours since the early 2000s across all groups of workers, including managers and professionals.
Landivar, who recently transitioned to the Department of Labor from the National Science Foundation, is an expert on gender and work, occupational trajectories, demography, and the STEM workforce. In addition to her appointment at the Department of Labor, Dr. Landivar holds an affiliation with the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland. Her work on the US labor force has been featured in White House and Congressional briefings, and has been covered widely in the media in outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Science.