I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. I study gender inequality in the workplace and family life. My research examines how culture and policy intersect to both reduce and reproduce inequality. Most of my work to date uses cross-national, qualitative methods to investigate working mothers’ experiences across western industrialized countries. Recently, I am engaged in collaborative, quantitative research to probe how the COVID-19 pandemic shapes mothers’ employment.
My first book is Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving (2019, Princeton University Press)—an in-depth interview study of 135 middle-class working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States. These four countries offer distinct policy approaches to reconciling work-family conflict. I explore how different ideals of gender, motherhood, and employment are embedded in these policies, and how they shape the daily lives of mothers in these countries. This book received the 2020 William J. Goode Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Family Section, and was featured widely in the popular press.
My work also appears in Science, Gender & Society, Journal of Marriage and Family, American Behavioral Scientist, Qualitative Sociology, and other academic journals and books. Outside academia, I have written for public audiences in The Atlantic, Slate, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times.
I am a 2019 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar (Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; now the Institute for Citizens and Scholars) and a 2018 Work and Family Researchers Network Early Career Fellow. My research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, American Association of University Women, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Swedish Council of America. I was a visiting researcher at the Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE) at Stockholm University (Stockholm, Sweden), the WZB Berlin Social Science Center (Berlin, Germany) and the Department of Political Science at Roma Tre University (Rome, Italy). I received my PhD in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin and my BA in Sociology from Whitman College. Two new interview projects explore the U.S. market for childcare and the possibilities of feminist families.