Educated women quit work as spouses earn more
By Tiziana Barghini
(Reuters) - Susanna Mancini cherishes a photo of herself at 27: a smiling face behind a pair of dark sunglasses. On it, she scrawled to her future husband: "Too bad you can't see my eyes. I am so proud of my tough yuppie stare!"
Her professional pride propelled her early career as a lawyer. She was successful and well paid for it. She kept working when her first child was born and was promoted to a more senior position in Citibank after her second child arrived.
But her career eventually succumbed to something Mancini never expected would end her rise at the bank - her husband's even bigger success. She quit in 2005 when her six-digit income was overtaken by his seven-digit one.
"At that point, it was clear that my wage had become family pocket money. There was a real opportunity to do other things that did not require being chained to a desk," said Mancini, now 50.
She is far from alone, according to a new study from the Federal Reserve, due to be published shortly.
It shows that between 1993 and 2006, there was a decline in the workforce of 0.1 percent a year on average in the number of college-educated women, with similarly educated spouses.
That contrasts with growth of 2.4 percent a year between 1976 and 1992.
The result: the labor force in 2008 had 1.64 million fewer such women than if the growth rate had kept up its earlier trend, slightly more than 1 percent of the total workforce in that year. Continued...