‘Opt-Out’ and ‘Opt-In’ Myths

Heather Boushey, a senior economist for the Center for Economic Policy and Research, said in an AlterNet essay that despite the media’s highlighting stories of "highly educated mothers ‘opting out’ of employment . . . These stories are not only wrong" but the reality is that most moms don’t leave the workforce voluntarily; they leave because they have no viable options. Boushey also takes issue with those who say that it’s easy to re-join the workforce – "opting in" -- after taking a leave. ". . . [L]ike the opt-out myth itself, the ‘opt-in’ storylines are far removed from what we know about women returning to work after taking time off to have children," she wrote. (June 2007)