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Supporting Career Women

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Salvaging Sisterhood: Supporting Career Women Women and the Labor Market: the link grows stronger, by Susan Shank examines women and the emergence of their attachment to the labor market. This article takes a look at the labor market changes of women between the ages 25 and 54. Changes with these ages began throughout the post-World War II period and the rate of increase accelerated in the mid-1960’s (Shank, 1988).

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The author links the rapid changes to various social and economic changes that have occurred in the United States.

Historically women stayed home for the large part of their childbearing years, owever during the first world war women entered the workforce after the GI’s returns women focused more on traditional family duties. After the Second World War far more women entered the workforce and even upon the return of the soldiers continued to stay in the workforce and those that did leave soon returned to work a few years later. According to age women in the 45 to 54 lead the return to work postwar period. Rates for the 34 to 44 age group increased as well while 25 to 34 age group hardly changed at all.

These were the postwar baby-boom years and most married women orking outside the labor force because of their child and family responsibilities (Shank, 1988). In 1960 women of childbearing in large number numbers began to enter the labor market. The spike in women workforce participants showed a very sharp decline in birth rate during this time period as well. Women began to show greater interest in education and work as time progress and delayed traditional familial norms. Black women had a much higher rate of activity in the workforce postwar than that of white women.

The gap has since then narrowed by 1987 the rates for both whites and black women were similar. Hispanic women however were much less likely than black or white women to be apart of the workforce due to high birth rate, generally low educational attainment, and cultural roles that emphasize women’s home and family roles. Women who where married stayed outside the workforce much longer than those that were single especially with the emergence of divorce and single women pregnancies. In 1987, 79 percent of women under the age of 18 were in the labor force compared to 67 percent for women with children (Shank, 1988).

Working women generally were working full time hours 35 hours or more per week, to support heir families voluntarily while only 17 percent worked part time. Sixty-eight percent of women 25 to 54 worked for a full year and an additional 10 percent worked 40 to 49 weeks (Shank, 1988). The article written in 1988 states that there will be a future spike in women’s participation in the workforce over the next decade is expected to increase 10 percentage points. I feel this article is an accurate picture of how I see the work force nas changed and the picture ot women today.

Women nave become more involved in the workforce, bill paying, as well as family management. This article interests me in terms of career and women because my significant other is the single working woman. From a personal perspective women planning a wedding and participate in pre marriage counseling, may try to examine and resolve some of their feelings about work and “women’s work”. Their partner may have some more traditional views about work while she love it and find herself consumed with the high of a fast-paced extremely full life.

I recognize the strain of stretching oneself too thin and figuring out how to manage married life, the balance of spousal needs and her routine eelings of her independent self. Controversies have held back improvements for training new counselors and development of treatment systematic treatment procedures. In order to explore treatment protocols, the debate must be addressed to help validate the suggestions of the impact of mothers’ employment on family relationships. These consist of exploring the criteria development of the designation, and effectively learning how to implement accountability for working career mothers’.

The literature-based debate indicates how stresses in family relationships dynamics an be stabilized between home and work time, for full-time or part-time working mothers. Today, working mothers symptoms of normality are constructed in a wide variety of ways as viewed by other counseling colleagues, legislators, and the media. These criteria serve to indicate what can be considered the channel of communication for mother’s expression of her genuine identity in the American culture.

The Journal article read for this assignment related to career mothers, is entitled, “The impact of mothers’ employment on family relationships” and was centered on my personal life style. The study was conducted by South Bank University as a qualitative case study of mothers working in an accountancy firm in both in the hospital and in the accountancy firm setting, in the London area. The interviews for the case study were completed in 2001 utilizing 37 mothers and 30 fathers in couples who had at least one pre-school age child.

The information collected from the study revealed surprising results from the mothers, as well as, the fathers perspective. The case study focused on certain highlighted areas such as, how stresses in family relationships could arise as much from the quality of time pent at work by mothers as well as the amount of time they spent at work (emphasis added). During the interview process mothers and fathers were interviewed separately, in order to gain ‘her’ and ‘his’ perspective on the relationships, (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003).

The sample contained a spread of mothers working full- time or part-time in both the workplaces, and across higher, intermediate and lower status Jobs in the two organizations. The majority of the fathers were employed full- time. The study revealed interesting facts in reference to the dynamics of home and work time for mothers. The case study focused mainly on the management of mothers work time versus the amount of time they spend at work.

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Family-friendly policies and flexible working practices were the key components, as they have an impact on family life.

More focus was given to the extent of autonomy and control that mothers experience in the workplace. The article stated that hospital mothers in higher status Jobs were perceived as having low “time sovereignty’ because of an increased emphasis on managerial roles (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003). It also states, by contrast, that in a devolved organizational structure, mothers in lower tatus Jobs in the accountancy firm tended to see themselves as having high levels of time sovereignty (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003).

These are key concerns from the case study that employers may consider addressing in the future (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003). The most interesting facts, revealed from the case study, were the fathers perspective of the impact mothers working and family relationship. A large portion of fathers established that it was beneficial and enhancing to their relationship. Other qualities that enhanced some relationships were the appreciation nd recognition that enabled their partners to express different aspects of her identity.

This finding was impressive because the positive response acknowledged the fact that mothers are appreciated and respected for helping their partners financially as well as with raising a family. The fathers also gave an excellent confirmation that mothers are good partners as well as being ‘good’ mothers. Fathers also expressed and recognized that the quality of the mother-child relationship enhances the child’s ability to develop useful skills, and to provide them with a ositive role model (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003).

In contrast, some fathers were not proud or supportive of their partner’s Job. A few fathers had mixed feelings or expressed a negative reaction because enough time was not being devoted to the family (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003). The fathers expressed that the demands of the mother’s work load, and not being able to meet the children’s needs completely, caused extreme tension in the household (Callender, Edward, Reynolds, 2003). Personally, the choice of a qualitative study to do the research was very informative.

Utilizing 37 mothers and 30 fathers, with at least one pre-school child, was a well-balanced statistical advantage in the research of the case study. Women’s contribution in the workforce has conduct to the study of career aspirations of women. Career aspirations are impacted by dynamics such as gender, socioeconomic status, race, parent occupation and education level, and parental expectations. Women have become progressively more engaged in the workforce, and salaried employment of women has shifted from partly traditional female-oriented Jobs to more non-traditional, more formerly male-oriented careers.

This analysis of literature presents an impression of women’s contribution in the workforce and the evolution of women’s career development and career aspirations in the latter half of the 20th century. Despite their increasing numbers, women have tended to enter the workforce in lower-status, lower-paying Jobs, and remain clustered in a limited number of conventional careers (Tinklin, Croxford, Ducklin, & Frame, 2005). Because women’s career choices were restricted, their earnings lagged behind their male counterparts with comparable education and experience (Farmer, 1985; Stephenson Surge).

Income earnings have been found to increase with educational level and years employed (Day ; Newburger, 2002). However, women earned roughly two- thirds the income of their male counterparts. This discrepancy in income was partially attributed to the disparity between traditionally male and traditionally female occupations. For example, women are less likely to be employed in science or engineering Jobs, as these are considered traditionally male occupations. However, females who are employed in these Jobs earn roughly 20% less their male counterparts (Graham ; Smith, 2005).

A barrier is any obstacle that prevents forward movement or any event or condition that makes career progress d tticult (Brown ; Barbosa, 2001). Barriers are considerable factors in the career development process, and the start of such barriers often begins when women are children. Such barriers are reinforced throughout women’s schooling, college, and work, and they become more complex over time (Brown & Barbosa; Stephenson & Burge, 1997). In contrast, career aspirations characterize an individual’s direction toward a desired career goal under epitome circumstances.

Career aspirations are influenced by factors such as gender, socioeconomic status, race, parent’s occupation and education level, and parental expectations (Khallad, 2000; Watson et al. , 2002). The literature review provided an overview of the research evidence in examining such factors as the parent’s role in career behavior and how they affect individual’s career decisions. In recent years, studies such as these indicate the increased awareness of the impact of socioeconomic status, race, gender, and on the career decision-making process and career development of women.

Results of studies examining the effects of race on career aspirations have been mixed (Mau & Bikos, 2000; and Hellenga et al. ,2002) noted that previous research typically found African Americans to possess lower career aspirations than their European American counterparts. (Osipow and Fitzgerald, 1996) supported this notion, stating African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans exhibit considerably lower educational and occupational outcomes than Caucasians.

Additional studies asserted people from minority groups, particularly those from lower class backgrounds, had more restrictive factors nfluencing their career aspirations compared with Caucasian persons from higher class backgrounds. In contrast, a study conducted by Arbona and Now (1991) determined there were no ethnic differences with regard to their career aspirations and socioeconomic status. Although few studies exist regarding effects of socioeconomic status on career choice, researchers agree socioeconomic status influences career choice (Gottfredson, 1981; Sellers et al. , 1999).

Mau and Bikos (2000) cited previous findings showing a positive association between a familys socioeconomic status and aspirations. Youth from upper socioeconomic statuses were more likely to be well informed of and decide on professional career occupations. In contrast, Brown and Barbosa (2001) found career aspirations of young females who came from low-income families were confined to experiences of their relatives and friends. Influential siblings are thought to play a key role in the career development of adolescents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (All, McWhirter, & Chronister, 2005).

The differences in findings relative to this literature review indicate more information is necessary and that the target population must be tudied relative to key components such as the focus on successes, achievements, strengths, weaknesses, resources, and the abilities and acquired skills of the children, youth and working mothers. In conclusion, it appears that it is imperative that all of these areas be further studied for working mothers to have effective and successful career development outcomes.

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