A significant challenge for professional workers is balancing the demands of a high-status career with family care responsibilities. This challenge may be particularly salient in Utah, a state that leads the nation in overall fertility rates. In 2020, most men and women lawyers had children and the majority of survey respondents indicated that they have significant childcare responsibilities. Thus, balancing work and family responsibilities is particularly salient for men and women lawyers in Utah.
He said 'we were afraid you’d never come back [after giving birth] so we didn’t want to pay you.' I said, 'what are you talking about? We’ve been talking about this for months. If you had questions about whether I’m coming back, you should have talked to me.' I think here in Utah it’s even harder if you are a mom. You get even more scrutiny. Like why are you even working as well? You’re so busy you can’t always be thinking about work so therefore you’re not committed.
Women reported significant penalties and double standards related to their roles as wives and mothers. Starting in law school, married women and mothers were accused by men peers of abandoning their children or stealing the spot of a more deserving man. Women reported hiding their marital and parental status when interviewing for jobs and being denied access to jobs, assignments and promotions following the birth of children.