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Workplace Feminism

Logan Rogers ENG 102 Childless Women; Victims At Their Jobs? In today’s economy there are many women beginning to enter the workforce; mothers and childless women both.However, are childless women victimized in the workplace? Often times working mothers have to work half days or leave the workplace suddenly to go care for their children.Childless women tend to feel that working mothers are given priority to requested time off.

The result of these aspects are childless women feeling that they have to take on more hours, denied personal and vacation time, resented by working mothers, and not offered special benefits that working mothers receive.

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When one commits to a full time job, he or she only plans to be working an average of forty hours per week. However, that is not always the case with childless women in the workplace. Studies show that childless women are working more hours on average than working mothers.

They feel that extra work is often put on their shoulders, a consequence of working mothers having to leave the workplace due to time conflicts with their children. A situation where this is a problem is when working on a group project. Every member of the team is given their own responsibilities and if a working mother has to leave because of her child, the rest of the team is burdened with her tasks.

Kristen Bossert, a graphic designer who is sick of feeling like a second-class employee, states, “I’m the one who always gets stuck at work,” she says, “If you have no kids, you have no excuses. ” (Backaitis) Many childless women feel that workplaces are less strict on working mothers because they have to balance between work and family. In an article by Wendy Williams, she presents statistics that show females without children work an average of more hours per week: “As can be seen, for each child a female professor has, she works slightly less at her academic job each week.

A female professor with 3 children works…2. 5 hours less than her childless female colleagues” (Williams) Therefore childless women feel that working mothers get special treatment in the workplace because childless women have to take on extra work and more hours when mothers must leave to take care of their children. On top of taking on extra hours, working childless women often feel that they are deprived of personal and vacation time to which they are entitled.

When asked about the subject, Lori Hanes, a working mother of two children, said “ In my workplace, childless women continuously complain that working mothers get priority to vacation time due to wanting to spend time with their children. ” The following situation shows that working women get precedence over childless women: When she asked her manager if she could leave early to go to a doctor’s appointment, Diana Antholis expected to get an unequivocal yes.

After all, her co-workers were always coming in late or taking off ahead of schedule because their kids needed to get vaccinated, didn’t feel well at day care, were in a performance at school and so on. So when the boss gave her a hard time and suggested that her medical appointments be scheduled for her “own time,” the media-agency associate almost lost it. First she thought of asking when her “own time” was, given that she typically put in more than 12 hours a day. And, second, she wanted to know why the mothers she worked with were getting time off for the asking. (Backaitis) It may not be fair but that does not mean it is not widespread. As the workplace has become more family-friendly over the years, there has been an unintended consequence: complaints from childless women that they are second priority to those who have chosen to have a family. Some childless workers complain that their lives outside of work seem to be irrelevant to both their coworkers and their employers. Childless workers’ completion of a triathlon, participation in a community chorus, or volunteerism do not merit the same informal celebration as little Johnny’s first Little League hit.

The Center for Talent Innovation performed a study that shows that 46 percent of childless women say that their outside commitments are perceived as less important at work than that of working mothers’. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, president of the Center for Talent Innovations, states this: “Not only are [working women without children] denied easy access to flexibility, but they’re made to feel like their lives aren’t significant and they get very little recognition of their non-work activities. (Hewlett) Childless women feel that working mothers often get priority to requested time off over them and that their achievements outside of work are not important. Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, and former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, are all highly respected, successful women. They are all also childless women. Greater success may be one reason for the resentment that childless women feel working mothers have towards them. Studies show that childless women are more successful professionally than working mothers.

Childless women also report feeling constantly judged by working mothers because they do not have children. Findings show that 25% of professional women without children feel that working mothers refer to them as hardened career women for not being mothers. Childless women also feel envy from working mothers due to the significant amount of less stress that they have to deal with because they are not balancing a full time job and a family. Another reason for this resentment is the disparity in wages between working mothers and childless workers.

Kelly Hagen stated in her article, that “Mothers are 44 percent less likely to be hired than women without children, and they are paid $11,000 less, according to a 2005 study from Cornell University. ” (Hagen) Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director of MomsRising. org in an interview with “Good Morning America. ” stated that, “Women without children make ninety cents to a man’s dollar, while women with children make only seventy three cents to a man’s dollar”. Less stress, greater success, and more pay are all reasons that are causing resentment of childless women by working mothers.

Many companies offer an array of benefits for their full time employees. However, many of these benefits favor soley working mothers rather than all women in the workplace. For example, companies give working mothers benefits that go beyond their essential needs. These include maternity leave and phase-back programs, programs that allow working mothers to work part-time for full-time pay after childbirth. Many companies also offer working mothers what are called family days. These paid days off are designated for use if a child is sick or has some kind of appointment.

Therefore, childless women have less availabe paid time off than working mothers. New mothers must lactate three or more times per day. Several companies are now giving these new mothers designated times throughout the day to take care of this issue and special rooms are being put in place for this reason only. This special care is resulting in three more breaks during the day for new moms, not childless women. Childless women are never granted such generous benefits like these, making the benefits between them and working mothers unequal. Working women who have chosen not to have children often feel victimized in the workplace.

Statistics show that they work significantly more hours on average than working mothers and that working mothers resent their greater amount of success. Childless women also feel that working mothers have priority to paid time off and company benefits. The consequence of all of this is growing tension between childless women and mothers in the workplace. Work Cited: Hagen, Kelly. “Childless Women Succeed More. ” ABC news. N. p. , 22 Aug 2012. Web. 8 May 2012. <http://abcnews. go. com/GMA/JobClub/study-shows-childless-women-succeed-mothers-worplace/story? id=11448102 2012. Web. 8 May 2012. <http://www. ypost. com/p/news/business/jobs/mommy_and_me_FXFHi8ikTY2FHG8xEimnSJ Hanes, Lori. Personal Interview. 5/3/2012. Williams, Wendy. “Teacher-Facilitator materials for Cornell Institute for Women in Science video series, Defining the Problem. ” www. human. cornell. edu. N. p. , n. d. Web. 6 May 2012. <http://www. human. cornell. edu/hd/upload/CIWS-video-Defining-the-Problem. pdf>. Lepore, Meredith. “The Woman With Kids In Your Office Does Resent You. ” The Grindstone. N. p. , 18 Jan 2011. Web. 8 May 2012. <http://thegrindstone. com/mentor/the-woman-with-kids-in-your-office-does-resent-you-190/>.

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