Sunday, February 14, 2010

Women at Work

The Bright Side
Many of you might have heard that women are on the brink of becoming 50% of the workforce. Personally, I believe that this is truly a social milestone in the world's history. Women have finally been able to break through social barriers and make up half of the working class. Better technology, an increasingly egalitarian society, contraceptives, and access to higher education have opened millions of doors to women around the world. Ever since the world economy changed from the days of the hunter-gatherers, men were dominating the work force because of the demand for physical labor in agriculture (female physical labor ≠ male physical labor at that time). But, as our economy increasingly shifts to the service side, women have a better say in the labor market (potential of female brain = potential of male brain).

The Not-So-Bright Side
Now all that sounds wonderful, but wait, there's a catch. All this female empowerment comes at a price. Higher positions on the corporate ladder still prove elusive to the majority of women because a more lucrative job often requires more demanding work hours. If you are a mother of three children, more work hours don't exactly fit into your schedule, now do they? So here's the problem, many women are forced to choose between two options: a successful career and motherhood. Many fear that as women yearn for higher positions, their families will be neglected and the quality time will decrease. 

The Solutions!
More and more companies have embraced working at home and have made work a more family-flexible environment. While only a few countries have extended child care opportunities, other countries can certainly follow their example and set aside a larger percentage of taxes to having schools offer after-school activities. As society adjusts to this milestone, big companies must also as well. 

Question of the Post: How do you think companies can better adapt to this social milestone?