The Career Comeback

From Work to Family and Back Again

The "Mommy Track" needs a revamp.

As the gender pay gap closes and more women "lean in," the American dream is alive and well for men and women, so long as they fit one criteria: no children. Although women now make closer to 9 cents on the dollar less than their male counterparts, women with children make roughly 7 to 14 percent less than women without them, and every kid equals a 4 percent drop in salaries.

Characterizations of the gender pay gap as a "motherhood penalty" won't surprise anyone who has ever cared for a small child. Even in the Nordics, a region that has pioneered gender equality at work through radically different approaches to gender policy, the pay gap's durability continues to bedevil lawmakers. Efforts to address gender discrimination head-on, whether through enlightened public programs or salary-data "naming and shaming," can help, but only marginally thus far. One thing is clear: we need for a fresh public conversation about care, work, and the arc of an "ideal" career.  

Join New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter, representatives from the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic scholars, and business leaders to discuss why we should reimagine the traditional notion of the career arc—for both men and women—and what companies and governments can do to better reflect the diverse and shifting work-life realities in the modern economy.


Laila Bokhari @LailaBokhari
Acting Chair, Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality
State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Norway


Anne-Marie Slaughter @SlaughterAM
President and CEO, New America

Karen Ellemann @EllemannKaren
Minister for Equality and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, Kingdom of Denmark

Mari Teigen @mariteigen
Director, Centre for Research on Gender Equality, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway

Lynn Roseberry @LynnRoseberry
Associate Professor and Equal Opportunity Officer, Copenhagen Business School

Jyoti Chopra @JTChopra
Head of Global Citizenship and Sustainability and Chief Diversity Officer, BNY Mellon

Follow the conversation online using #CareerComeback and following @NewAmericaNYC. This event is presented in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers, the official body for inter-governmental cooperation in the Nordic Region.