Are Women Leaning In, Or Leaning Back?

EducationInfographic 1 Comment

The media may have us believing that we’re making strides toward increased professional empowerment for women, but despite Sheryl Sandberg’s message to Lean In and support from titans of business like Warren Buffett and Richard Branson, research shows that female graduates of top-tier schools are actually leaning back.

A recent study conducted by Joni Hersch, a professor of law and economics at Vanderbilt University, found that married mothers who graduated from elite institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc., are significantly less likely than graduates from less selective institutions to hold a full-time job.

Hersch explains what the impact of this finding can have on the future of women in the workplace: “Elite workplaces, like Fortune 500 companies, prefer to hire graduates of elite colleges. If women with graduate degrees from elite institutions are opting out of the workforce, companies cannot harness their potential, and these women in turn cannot maximize their influence in their professional field.”

This new infographic presents the startling statistics, reasons as to why these women may be leaning back, and what we can do about it.


  • gargouille

    Could this mean that highly educated women finally get that more intelligence and more cultivated skill should mean more choice? Why in this country does being well educated not necessarily gain us more time? It seems to me that my parents and their parents toiled for long hours in the eventual hope that a generation of the future would have more time for what matters: people, ideas, gardens…maybe women of the Ivy League are taking that seriously. Or maybe they have enough money and don’t need to work a job for pay…Either way, it’s an interesting lesson in how outside the home employment need not be the end-all and be-all goal of everyone with a high I.Q.