Married professional women's career exit: integrating identity and social networks

Elizabeth Hamilton Volpe (Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA)
Wendy Marcinkus Murphy (College of Business, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Publication date: 15 February 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the idea of “opting out” for married professional women by presenting a conceptual investigation into the impact that a woman's identity and social networks have in shaping her decisions surrounding career exit. A model is developed and intended to help researchers in this area move beyond existing frameworks when attempting to explain and predict women's career exit.

Design/methodology/approach

Research from the identity, social networks, turnover, and careers literatures was analyzed and integrated to put forth a new theoretical lens, represented by the conceptual model developed in this paper, that helps to explain married professional women's career exit.

Findings

Development of the model reveals a complex, reciprocal relationship between a woman's identity and her social network and depicts how these factors act in concert to shape women's decisions regarding career exit or “opting out.” This model also highlights the importance of structural constraints shaping a woman's social network, moderators impacting the relationship between a woman's identity and career exit behaviors, and outcomes of career exit.

Originality/value

Although identity is a fundamental element of career development and relationships with others serve as an origin of self and source of self‐understanding, the integration of these perspectives has been conspicuously absent from research on women's career exit. Examining the convergence of identity and social networks and the reciprocal relationship these constructs have on career phenomena advances our knowledge of why married professional women choose to “opt out” or exit their careers.

Keywords

Citation

Hamilton Volpe, E. and Marcinkus Murphy, W. (2011), "Married professional women's career exit: integrating identity and social networks", Gender in Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 57-83. https://doi.org/10.1108/17542411111109318

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.