Department or Program


Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Smitha Radhakrishnan


This study uses fourteen interviews with employed mothers to explore how they perceive themselves as mothers and employees. Three primary claims are made about employed mothers based on this interview data. The first is that employed mothers do not want to have it all. The second is that employed mothers know when they are being treated differently because of their gender. And lastly, employed mothers strategically perform their gender in the workplace. These findings help to illuminate some common misconceptions about women and employed mothers in particular that, when recognized, can provide a better perspective for understanding the steps that might be taken towards mitigating some of the challenges employed mothers face.