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The "Mommy Track" Debate Essay

2248 words - 9 pages

The "Mommy Track" Debate

As more and more women continue to move into the workplace, hot debate has arisen surrounding the issues of work and family balance. Many female managers and professionals with young families are leaving the fast track for what has become known as the “mommy track.” Today, as young people are applying for jobs, many now take into consideration a company’s values of a work and life balance. Some say that the pressures of maternity are becoming an obstacle for many women who wish to continue their climb up the corporate ladder. Often times when women become pregnant, they are forced to abandon their careers. Therefore, the following question has aroused many controversial arguments: can women obtain high standards of success in their careers and maintain the best possible home life?

These debates have generated a new term referred to as the “mommy track.” The “mommy track” is a new option many employers have for working women to consider. It involves making the switch from working full time to a career path calling for part-time employment, allowing for more time to be spent at home with the children. Today, many large corporations are considering implementing “mommy track” option.

There are conflicting viewpoints involving the “mommy track.” Supporters of the track claim that women cannot make it to the top of their prospective career fields and be the primary focus in their children’s lives. They say a “mommy track” would allow these women to maintain their careers while playing a vitally important role at home. Those opposed to the creation of a “mommy track” claim that it is separate and unequal, permanently derailing women’s careers, making them like “second-class citizens at work”. Implementing this policy would only give male executives more opportunity to deny women promotion. They question whether or not this choice is really necessary and they state that a variety of other possibilities exist for creating a healthy work and family balance.

In order for both sides of the “mommy track” debate to convey their messages to their intended audiences, the utilization of specific persuasive techniques and rhetorical strategies becomes key. Both the supporters and non-supporters of a “mommy track” put these techniques and strategies to use. Ultimately it is the opponents of a “mommy track” that compose the more persuasive argument by employing the most effective rhetorical methods.

In her essay “Management Women and the New Facts of Life,” Felice Schwartz makes her message of implementing an effective two-track career path very clear, but she neglects the audience to which she is appealing, thus lessening the persuasiveness of her argument. Schwartz’s essay appeared in the Harvard Business Review. The Harvard Business Review publishes articles that advocate the theory and practice of management. It is published by the Harvard...

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