'Mom, When's Our Lunch Hour?'

On Thursday, April 23, many parents will be telling their daughters to skipschool--and come to work with them for Take Our Daughters to Work Day, an event aimed at exposing girls to the career world. Some may wonder, though, whether it's better for a daughter to go to work with mom or with dad.

Happily, research suggests that either parent would be a fine choice. A recent University of North Carolina-Greensboro study shows that girls' views of careers are shaped by their mother's attitudes towards women and work--indicating that a daughter might better grasp the importance of work to women if she tags along with her mother. Additionally, a University of Maryland study found a link between young women's career confidence and emotional attachment to mothers and fathers, suggesting that both parents can help nurture career aspirations.

What if mom wants to take her daughter to work, but doesn't have a high-powered job? According to DiAnne Borders, Ph.D., the North Carolina study's co-author, it's the act of taking your daughter to work that counts. "If a mother thinks her job is not worthy of Take Our Daughters To Work Day, this devalues women's contributions to the work world," adds Nicky Marone, author of a forthcoming book How to Mother a Successful Daughter(Crown). "We have to help our daughters to see that the female contribution is a powerful one, which reaches far and wide."

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