Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Women at Work

Every semester I ask my students to tell me who does the cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and who does the lawn, plumbing, and painting around the house. Invariably, the jobs are divided with mom handling the household chores and dad taking care of the lawn care and maintenance. Nothing much has changed in forty years except the percentage of women in the workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor, nearly sixty percent of women work, an increase of thirty-five or so percent from forty years ago.
Women are required to work in order to increase the family income, yet little is being done by the employer or the husband to improve conditions. An article in Business Week states that, most men continue to expect the woman to clean, cook, and take care of the children. It is the wife who is called when an emergency arises. It is the wife who stays home when the child is ill or when school is out. Where is the equity?
Employers are not considering childcare options because they fear it is impractical and expensive. Yet, research shows that those companies that have in-building childcare gain employee motivation, morale, and productivity. Absenteeism and tardiness are greatly diminished and mothers tend to be more productive when their children are nearby (Business Week). There is less anxiety and more productivity.  
Again, women are not demanding. We are asking, politely. We think men will get it; they will eventually understand. I doubt it. Why should they when we don’t make it seem that important. Think how women finally were heard. We raised our voices in unity. We worked together for a better life. We demanded until we were able to vote, until we were given jobs of our choice, until we fought to enter the military, until… We must once again raise our voices to be heard, but we must do it in unison. That will bring change.
Adams, Courtney Lee. “Get Real About What Employers Can Do.” Business Week. n. d. Web.
Hahn, Cliff. “Happy Parents, Kids, and Corporations.” Business Week. n. d. Web.
“Women in the Labor Force.” United States Department of Labor. (2010). Web.

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