(Closed) Article in the Globe & Mail about women who change their names.

posted 8 years ago in Names
Post # 3
1023 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I read the study they are citing from Neatherland researchers…eh, its not exactly the best methodology IMO, but it is consistent with what people generally think.


Post # 4
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

While this seems to make sense, it doesn’t really address causation. Around 80% of women in the US change their surnames when they get married, and women generally get paid less than men… but who is to say one causes the other?

Post # 5
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think this is far more of a selection bias issue than name changes actually causing women to have a different career trajectory. I think I would be right if I said that the vast majority of women who don’t change their last names at marriage are less traditional, more career oriented/ambitious, and are more likely to have egalitarian marriages than the average American woman. These are traits that would help most women advance in a career (though I have problems with that alone, another topic). There are plenty of women who have these traits but choose to change their names, but they represent a smaller portion of their group.

In other words, career-oriented women could probably make up like 90% of women who don’t change their names, while career oriented women probably make up only about 30% of those who do (making up those numbers as a demonstration).

So you get selection bias, in that those who chose an option are already oriented towards a certain outcome.

If anything, I think not changing your name signals to others a seriousness about your job that men never have to signal. No one ever doubts a man’s commitment to his job just because he marries.

Post # 6
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I wonder where the idea of keeping your last name signifies the importance you have with your career? Why can’t it signify something else? 

@ Spaniel – good point.

Post # 7
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think it is also important to note that in the study from the Netherlands it appears (I didn’t read the actual study) that employers were not asked “Would you promote the woman who kept her last name vs. changed her last name, all else being equal?”; or anything like that. Instead, participants (who may or may not be employers, depending on where the sample was gathered from- but I’d say likely university students) were asked to rate how they thought these women would fare in their careers. I agree with Bamboo, that the methodology is likely questionable.

This article, like most popular press articles that pick up a study, has overblown the issue. As spaniel pointed out, women are paid less in general. I suppose it does not pay to be seen as stereotypically “feminine”, and I think that’s the real sad point here.

Post # 8
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Montiajb said it perfectly.

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