What to expect when she’s expecting: Work-life and identity integration challenges and opportunities of “soon-to-be” working professional mothers


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In this article, we examine work-life and identity integration issues for professional women. Specifically, we investigate how expectant mothers experience changes in their professional self-conceptualization as they begin to integrate new maternal-centered identities into their established identities as working professionals. Using data from our research with pregnant working women in professional occupations, we highlight the questions that arise for women as they begin to appraise their professional identity in light of their transition to motherhood and we identify the strategies women use as they begin to re-craft their professional sense of selves in response to their changing non-work roles. We conclude with a discussion of the implications this research has for organizations and managers who are trying to support working mothers. In doing so we highlight how these approaches may differ based on national and organizational context as we recognize that our sample is based on experiences solely in the United States.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations

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