A career path where a woman reduces her chances of advancement by working flextime or fewer hours to look after her elderly parents.
[Felice N.] Schwartz (1989) introduced the term "mommy track" to refer to an alternative career path that allows a mother flexible or reduced work hours, but at the same time tends to slow or block advancement. A newly coined phrase, the "daughter track", refers to a late-in-life version of the mommy track where women are leaving their jobs to care for their aging parents.
—Elizabeth F. Cabrera, "Opting out and opting in," Career Development International, January 1, 2007
According to the Society for Human Resource Management ... 39 percent of its members said in 2003 that elder care benefits were 'too costly to be feasible.' Only 1 percent of their companies subsidized any elder care benefits last year. And only 3 percent offered the emergency backup care — subsidized or otherwise — that experts say saves money by keeping workers at work. ...
It is the largest companies that are the most generous, but even those often subscribe to the mistaken notion that the Mommy Track and the Daughter Track are the same, said Chris Gatti, president of the Work Options Group in Superior, Colo. ...
'These benefits fall under the same umbrella but are fundamentally different,' Mr. Gatti said. 'Child care programs are relatively straight-forward and easy to administer compared to elder care, which is a maze with lots of sharp corners and dark secluded places.'
—Jane Gross, "As Parents Age, Baby Boomers And Business Struggle to Cope," The New York Times, March 25, 2006
A vast majority of the employees questioned — 70 percent — admitted that taking care of elderly relatives or friends interfered with job performance.
Fifty-one percent of them said they felt increased tension on the job as a result of their responsibilities, the survey said. Forty-four percent also admitted to increased use of the telephone and that same percentage had to take more time off for emergencies, the survey said.
Fourteen percent said their productivity was affected, it said.
The survey found that women were more likely to shoulder responsibilities for caring for the elderly and take a so-called "daughter track" approach, in which their careers are slowed as they juggle work and parental care.
—Vivian Marino, "Study Shows Elderly Care Causing Wrinkles In The Workplace," The Associated Press, April 25, 1989
As the citations make clear, daughter track is a variation on the common phrase mommy track which, surprisingly, is only about a year older. That is, despite the first example citation stating that Felice Schwartz coined the term in 1989 (in a January 1, 1989 Harvard Business Review article called ''Management Women and the New Facts of Life"), an earlier citation exists:
Despite inroads made by women at the nation's top law firms, a new two-level system is emerging in the legal profession, with women on the bottom.
Although a growing number of prestigious firms offer flexible working hours, child care and lenient maternity leave, women who take advantage of them often find themselves left behind when it comes to partnerships, choice assignments and stature.
Intended to foster sexual equality, these measures also have created a new category of law firm associates who work with no prospects of advancement in what some lawyers call 'the mommy track.'
—Jennifer A. Kingson, "Women in the Law Say Path Is Limited by 'Mommy Track'," The New York Times, August 8, 1988