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Looking forward to going back? The experience of career decision-making for first-time mothers and the implications for coaches

H Noon, C van van Nieuwerburgh International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2020

The career penalty for professional women who become mothers is well known, while research scrutiny of career decision-making itself appears to have been largely overlooked. This study explores the experience of six London-based professional women, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) techniques to develop insights into the highcommitment behaviours which underpin female professional career identity; the effects of group norms, cultural messages and employer practices on women’s decision-making; and, the solitary experience of establishing new narratives as a professional mother. It develops insights and implications for organisations and the coaching profession, to better support new mothers with their career decisions.

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