Women and Flexibility in the Workplace Margaret A. Bynes SOC 402: Contemporary Social Problems and the Workplace Instructor: Gina Rollings July 27, 2014
American women are working hard to pay bills and take care of their families, yet many employers makes it impossible for them to work and take care of their family obligations. Women have not been given the importance of their male counterparts in any field in the workplace. History has shown that there is no major roles of women because they have not been given the chance to prove their leadership. Women have always played a secondary role in society. The role of the woman was to raise the children and to be subservient to the role of the man. Women decided that they wanted to stand on their own two feet especially after WWII. During the war, women had taken over the role of the men by working and taking care of the home. When the men returned home from war, the women had gotten use to their new role of being the breadwinner and did not want to relinquish their jobs. Because many women are working full-time, this leaves less time for a family, personal life or for social activities. “About half of all workers on U.S. payrolls today are women. Moreover, the majority of mothers whether married or single, works outside of the home, meaning that in most American families, all of the adults work, and there is no full-time stay-at-home caregivers. (Glynn, 2012) In the video “Women as Change Agents in America (Pt1), Kathleen Christensen determined why there is flexibility of women in the workplace. She discusses flexibility as being a social and structural issue. The workplace was designed for men in order to suit their needs as the breadwinner. This meant that workers would be full-time employees, year in and year out without taking time out for care-giving. The workplace was designed for career minded individuals, who started their careers at twenty (20) years of age, and retired at sixty (60) years of age. Because women were not able to work long hours, they would need jobs that were flexible. Women, who work are getting less sleep (losing at least eight(8) hours per week, their social lives are not organized, which is a major factor in alleviating stress in the husband and the couples lives. Women, who have flexibility such as part-time flexibility or tele-commuting flexibility where they can work at home and they stay with the same employer over seven (7) years and are most likely not to get pay raises. “Although the pay gap between men and women in the U.S. workforce has narrowed since the 1980s’ numerous studies have found that a disparity still exist.” (Sherrill, A., 2009) The reports states that as of 2003 women were earning an average of twenty cent ($.20) less for every man in the workforce. These are the key factors affecting women and the wage gap: 1- Women who work full-time year round earns about 80% of what men earn. 2- The gender wage gap widens with age and accumulates over time. The younger a person is, the more they may earn but as they get older the gap grows. 3- The gender age gap exists for all women, regardless of race, or ethnicity. 4- There is also a wage gap between mothers and childless women. The fair Labor Standards Act did not address equity between men and women. Most working women were employed in low paying jobs because men were responsible for supporting the family. Even with some of the factors accounted for, there is still a significant wage gap. The bottom line in our capitalist society is what we can obtain for the least cost which is a good business practice. What we see is a system that is designed to take advantage of women, and men who do not strategize...
References: Cleveland, J.N., Stockdale, M., Murphy, K.R.(2000) Women and Men in Organizations, Sex and Gender Issues at Work. Retrieved from: routledge-ny.com/books/details/9780805812688
Glynn, Sarah J. (8/16/2012) The Wage Gap for Women. Retrieved from: www.americanprogress.org./.../fact-sheet-the-wage-gap-for-women/
A History of Women in the Workplace (04/28/2012) Retrieved from: www.payscale.com/career-news/2012/04/working-girl
Pews Research (12/2013) 10 Findings about Women in the Workplace. Retrieved from: www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/12/11/10-findings-about-women-in-the-workplace/
Theus, Dana (2014) Why does Equal Pay Really Matters. Retrieved from: www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-theus/is-equal-pay-possible-b_5105193.html
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