Women in the Workplace: Work Life Balance and Equal Opportunity to Enhance Women Empowerment

Topics: Human rights, Discrimination, Employment Pages: 10 (2957 words) Published: July 26, 2011
Literature Review

Women in the Workplace: Work Life Balance and Equal Opportunity to Enhance Women Empowerment

Asih Budiati
Swiss German University, Batch 19

More and more women now perceive employment and career paths are critically important to them and that parenting as an option is currently unattractive since they feel that parenting is incompatible with their career. Working women have the sense if they want to be succeeded; doing dual role both office and family is totally out of the question. On the other hand, if they prefer to multitask between office and family, almost certainly they will end up having “mommy track” labeled by the organization. The current greatest fear will be when working mother discourage from workplace improvement while married working women having maternity crisis.

Discourage from workplace improvement, having “mommy track” label, and maternity crisis are some of the results from a feeling caused by lack of supporting policies thus far surrounding supports or initiatives for women within the workplace. This is where equal opportunity and work life balance policies are needed, specifically for women, in order to ease the burden or pressures during combining work and family life, and to improve a major result of women empowerments in the world.

Key word: work life balance, equal opportunity, women empowerment, working women, maternity.

For over than a decade, people believe that the basic interest of equal opportunity in working environment is to have the same entry paid labour and equal pay. This believe creating women feel compelled to work like men to be succeed, to make them look essential, to be accepted as a core member of the organization, and to get the same acknowledgement as men .

As a result, equal opportunities which have ‘successfully’ made women being the same as men were criticized for silencing women. Women can no longer be able to speak out about their difficulties, as this will highlights their difference and their lack of suitability for the work. Which lead people to argue that those equal opportunities initiatives have failed to get to the root of gender inequality; because the initiatives only focusing on allowing women to work and behave like male working pattern and forget that women and male are having basic different need. Women’s argument for highlighting women’s different needs and demanding different treatment compared with men within the workplace, mainly due to women biological reason. The biological reason is nothing nearly physical strength or ‘sensitive mood’ feeling that sometimes related with women, but more on the biological motherhood, with corresponding to the maternity rights, also not to forget that the majority of women still do take on primary responsibility for childcare and domestic work.

Work life balance has been discussed for the last decade as the solution to re-acquire the essence of equal opportunity. People start to believe that the implementation of work life balance will create significant effect to enhance equal employment opportunity in particular to women empowerment. This literature review will provide answer for the role of government, organizations, and workplace environment under the general framework of promoting work life balance and equal opportunity within workplace. Also to discuss what are the barriers for the implementation and under what conditions work life balance and equal opportunity policies can be implemented further can be fully adopted.

Work Life Balance, Equal Opportunity, and Mommy Track: Definitions Work life balance is a terminology refers to achieve balance between work and home responsibilities. Equal opportunity is the policy to ensure the right equivalent opportunities for employment regardless race, color, age, gender, national origin, religion, or mental or physical disability. Mommy track is a status, or a...
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