Allison Gabriel, Purdue University

Understanding Working Women’s Lives: An Exploration of Postpartum Allyship in Organizations
Allison Gabriel

Description

Semester: 
Winter 2024
Lecture Time: 
Friday, March 22, 2024 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 

R0220, Ross building

Abstract

Many women experience psychological and emotional challenges during their transition to becoming a working mother, making the reentry process after parental leave crucial for helping women thrive at work and at home. Within this talk, I will provide an overview of past scholarship I have conducted in this area on breastfeeding in the workplace and postpartum depression. Then, I will discuss our research on postpartum allyship—specific behaviors that coworkers and managers can enact to support and advocate for working mothers during their reentry process postpartum. To do so, I will highlight findings from three complementary studies. In Study 1, we adopted a qualitative approach to gain insight into the forms of allyship working mothers found valuable. We then build upon these findings in Study 2 by developing and validating a scale of postpartum allyship. Finally, in Study 3, integrating emergent themes from our qualitative data with tenets of the social cognitive model of career self-management (Lent & Brown, 2013, 2019), we use our newly-developed measure in a time-lagged study focused on the cognitive, affective, and behavioral impact of postpartum mothers’ experiences of allyship. Results indicated that postpartum allyship experiences bolster work-motherhood self- efficacy and reduce guilt which, in turn, yield important implications for working mothers’ turnover intentions, work-family capital, and postpartum depressive symptoms. Across these papers, I aim to bring theoretical and practical attention to how to best support working mothers.